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Fired National Bank staff awarded Sh17 million

WORK LIFE
By Kamau Muthoni | May 21st 2021
National Bank building in Eldoret. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

A former banker fired by his employer over an allegation that he caused it to lose Sh140 million has been awarded Sh17 million.

John Wanjohi had worked for the National Bank of Kenya for 29 years before he was kicked out in 1999. He had joined the bank on March 11, 1970 as a clerk and rose through the ranks to a branch manager. He was summarily dismissed following an allegation that he caused the bank to lose Sh140 million between 2007 and 2009.

Aggrieved, Wanjohi sued NBK arguing that he was a victim of a witch-hunt. He claimed the bank’s management was hell-bent to get rid of its old staff and he was a victim.

“I was dismissed without notice in an exercise that was malicious and purely meant to save the defendant financial expenses,” he testified.

Labour Court Judge Nduma Nderi found that he was not given a chance to rebut the allegations, adding that the bank had an option to retire him and pay his pension but did not.

According to the judge, the loss allegation was false. He noted that it was an embarrassment for a senior employee to be unceremoniously kicked out after diligently serving the bank for 29 years.

According to Nderi, Wanjohi suffered financial loss being the effect of the sacking, developed diabetes due to stress and suffered loss and damage associated with the sudden loss of income and non-payment of pension dues that had accrued over a 29-year period.

The bank had accused Wanjohi of, among others, deliberately making false and misleading returns and records of transactions involving the bank and third parties.

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