Mount Kenya University, founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Simon Gicharu was fined a total of sh.2, 003,000 being special damages and Kshs.2, 280,000 for general damages after dismissing the lecturer unfairly.
Judge Anna Ngibuini Mwaure awarded DR. Catherine Wangeci Thuita (lecturer) after she convinced the Court what she went through under the hands of MKU after she was terminated from work.
Mount Kenya University founder Simon Gicharu
According to a court document seen by Newsline.co.ke, DR. Catherine Wangeci Thuita had moved to court and claimed that she was employed by Mount Kenya University as a Senior Lecturer for three years from 1st January 2016.
Her starting salary was Kshs.190, 000/= but increased to Kshs.350, 000/=. There was to be a gratuity payment at the end of the contract. She was entitled to the benefits of the Respondent like medical benefits.
She says that on 8th February 2019, her contract was renewed for a period of 5 years from 1st January 2019.
The same terms of the contract were implied. She told Court that she was allocated further duties as a postgraduate coordinator for the years 2018 to 2019 at an allowance of Kshs.20,000/= per month.
She was also to supervise Master’s and Ph.D.? Students’ thesis at Kshs.5, 000/= per student while she was also allocated other classes in December 2019 at Kshs.42000/= per class.
She says she was also entitled to 10% per month on the basic pay as her gratuity upon completion of her contract and she was also entitled to her medical scheme benefits together with her family.
Dr Catherine Wangeci Thuita, through her lawyer, told the Court that the hell broke loose on 6th February 2020.
Mount Kenya University unlawfully and without sufficient reasons terminated her employment with effect from 10th February 2020 noting that this violated her constitutional rights to fair labour practices were breached.
Mount Kenya University having been served with the hearing notice by Ms. Wanjira & Co. Advocates on 9th February 2021 via their email firstname.lastname@example.org failed or neglected to put a response.
In Response to the Court, MKU claimed that they terminated the contract on grounds of redundancy as per the letter.
The Court found MKU guilty as they did not follow the criteria provided in the law before declaring the employee redundant.
The Court ruled that MKU did not put a response and so did not prove to the court that he informed the Claimant (lecturer) at least one month in advance that he intended to declare her redundant.
“The court, therefore, declares the DR. Catherine Wangeci Thuita (Claimant) was unlawfully terminated and her rights to fair labour practices were infringed upon, “Court documents seen by the writer read.
In conclusion, the Claimant is awarded a total of Kshs.2,003,000/= being special damages and Kshs.2,280,000/= for general damages.
THE CASE WAS DELIVERED, DATED, AND SIGNED IN NAIROBI on THIS 16TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2021.