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KAA boss gets job back pending outcome of case

By Kamau Muthoni | October 6th 2016

An Employment and Labour Court has temporarily handed former Kenya Airports Authority acting boss Yatich Kangugo his job back.

Kangugo moved to court demanding to be reinstated as KAA acting manager or be awarded Sh120 million in damages. Norwegian Johnny Andersen was appointed new managing director of KAA by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia after interviews that Kangugo also participated in.

Kangugo wants Sh80 million for basic salary for 108 months and gratuity tabulated at 31 per cent, which amounts to 24 million. In addition, he is seeking Sh20 million in allowances.

However, Kangugo got half of his prayers as Judge Hellen Wasilwa allowed him back on the terms of his previous appointment. This means he will get back to Mombasa International Airport as the General Manager as his case against KAA board of directors, the Transport ministry and Attorney General Githu Muigai is being heard and determined.

“Pending inter-parties hearing and determination of the application herein, a temporary order is hereby issued suspending the implementation of the first respondent’s (KAA board) letter separating the applicant from Kenya Airports Authority and separation is limited to the applicant’s substantive appointment occupied before the acting appointment,” Justice Wasilwa ruled.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, the former KAA acting boss also sought to have current MD Johnny Anderson barred from taking over the office. His argument is that a proposed KAA Act would at long last block Anderson from continuing with his job on account of being a foreigner.

Kangugo’s court papers read: “I am privy to suggested amendments to the Kenya Airports Authority Act that among other things precludes the appointment of a foreigner to the office of the Managing Director and therefore apprehensive that in the high likelihood that the amendment Bill becomes law, a repeat of the recruitment exercise will be contemptuous to the principle of economic use of resources.”

In bad faith

He also said his employer had treated him unfairly despite his 21 years of service. Kangugo also lamented that he was served with the separation letter despite having a good track record at KAA as acting MD for 18 months. The court heard that the board did not explain to Kangugo the reasons for termination and he was not given an opportunity to defend himself.

“I am deeply convinced that the act of separating me from my employment by the first respondent notwithstanding my 21 years of exemplary service and my already concluded 18 months as an outstanding acting Managing Director is coloured by malice, discrimination and in bad faith,” he said, adding that he ought to have been given an opportunity to face his accusers, if any.

“The claimant avers his separation was not founded on any particular reason.” Court papers read that Kangugo proceeded with his annual leave on July 13 this year, leaving acting director Nicholas Bodo to run the office.

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