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Oil firm to pay worker Sh3.8m for unfair sacking

By Patrick Alushula | Jan 26th 2022 | 2 min read
By Patrick Alushula | January 26th 2022

Rubis Petrol Station in Nairobi [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Oil marketer Rubis Energie, formerly KenolKobil, has been ordered to pay a former employee Sh3.76 million for unfair dismissal four years ago.

The High Court said the firm erred in sending Kenneth Ndumbi on leave, disabling his access to company systems and expecting him to respond to ‘show cause’ letters that needed him to access the same system to prepare a response.

KenolKobil was faulted for relying on suspicion to deny an employee access to the system that would have helped him get documents he needed to mount his defence.

“The respondent (KenolKobil) so short-circuited the disciplinary process that the final outcome was a sham. The charges against the claimant were, therefore, not proved at the shop floor,” ruled judge Linnet Ndolo.

Mr Ndumbi was an accountant at the firm.

He told the court that the company ordered him to take annual leave, disabled his login credentials, removed him and his family from the company medical scheme and blocked his fuel card—all before any hearing was held.

KenolKobil had told the court that Ndumbi did not participate in the investigations and was not allowed access to the Oracle System, allegedly because he would frustrate the process.

However, the judge ruled that Ndumbi’s position or perceived breaches could not be used as a valid reason to deny him the right to be heard in his defence.

"This line of evidence reveals that the respondent decided to violate the claimant’s right to fair hearing allegedly because he could not be trusted,” said Justice Ndolo.

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