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Two sacked varsity employees seek Sh100m

EDUCATION
By Julius Chepkwony | April 30th 2019
Former UoE Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration, Ezekiel Kiprop (Right), Finance officer Hosea Sitienei and their lawyer Kipkoech Ng'etich at Nakuru Law Courts [Harun Wathari, Standard]

Two sacked University of Eldoret senior staff want the institution to pay them over Sh100 million as damages for unfair dismissal.

Former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration, Ezekiel Kiprop and Finance officer Hosea Sitienei, through lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich, told the Employment and Labour Relations Court that they are seeking damages to mitigate their inhumane and undignified push out of office.

Prof Kiprop is seeking Sh67,626,559 while Mr Sitienei is seeking Sh38,064,007.

Apart from the damages, the two want the court to order that they be paid salary arrears for the period between January 2016 and 2018. 

The court will deliver its judgement on May 17.

Lawyer Kipkoech during the hearing of the case pleaded with the court that his clients be reinstated to their former positions.

He claims that since the dismissal of the two there has been no substantive replacement.

Kiprop and Sitienei were suspended alongside seven others following an unrest in the University.

They had filed a suit in court challenging the decision by the University Council from suspended them and carrying out disciplinary proceedings against them.

They filed a petition in 2015 in the Employment and Labour Relations Court and the court ruled that the suspension was defective, he ordered ongoing investigations report be released.

Instead of releasing the investigations as ordered by the court the two allegedly were served with notice to show course.

They moved back to court and sought orders to have the disciplinary proceedings instituted against them stopped.

Their petition seeking reinstatement was dismissed in November 2016 by Justice Njagi Marete.

Judge Njagi in his judgment found out that the petition for reinstatement was inopportune as it had been decided on and finalized.

“I would therefore agree with the respondents (University of Eldoret, the Vice Chancellor and the Attorney General) that this petition flouts the principle of res judicata and is therefore inopportune.  It should not stand the test of time and space,” stated justice Marete in a judgement delivered on November 14, 2016.

Kiprop and Sitienei lodged an appeal. They claimed the University was in breach of constitutional and lacked mandate to dismiss them adding that they was no transparency, fairness and accountability in the termination process.

Appeal Court Judges Roselyn Nambuye, Sankale ole Kantai and Fatuma Sichale in October 2018 said the appeal by the two had merit and the judgment by Justice Marete was set aside.

The appellate court remitted the case back to the Employment and Labour Relations Court for assessment of appropriate remedies by a judge other that Justice Marete.

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