The Kenya Pipline Company (KPC) has been directed to reinstate its former Senior Internal Auditor, Joseph Nyandiko Nyanchama, whose services were unlawfully terminated.
Labour Court judge Hellen Wasilwa noted that prior to his suspension, the company had placed an advert to fill up the position he occupied and was lawfully still the holder of the office.
“This is evidence that KPC was determined to edge him out from office even before subjecting him to any disciplinary process,” said Justice Wasilwa.
He was given a show cause letter and asked to respond within 48 hours. He wrote an email to KPC’s Human Resources asking for extension of time within which to respond and requested for further information and copy of the investigation report. The employer did not respond to his request.
“KPC therefore breached Mr Nyandiko’s right to a fair hearing, which include the right for sufficient time to prepare and to be given the necessary documents and materials to prepare for his case as envisaged in the constitution,” justice Wasilwa.
Mr Nyandiko was denied adequate time to respond to allegations against him and adequate material to prepare for the case.
“Despite a disciplinary hearing being conducted, KPC’s action and omission negated a proper disciplinary action which is free and fair and therefore this court finds that Mr Nyandiko was not accorded a fair hearing,” justice Wasilwa.
The judge said he had established his claim against KPC and the only remedy that would adequately compensate him was reinstatement, “which I proceed to do with back pay with effect from the time of suspension.”
Mr Nyandiko had told court he was involved in a review of an audit which revealed lapses within KPC that bordered on fraud and that following the exercise, KPC became hostile to him even going to the extent of advertising his position in the dailies, while he was still under its employment and on annual leave.