Businesses & Financial News

G4S Kenya denies breaching an employee contract

By Steve Umidha

Security firm G4S Kenya has denied going against an employment contract it signed with David Mutisya – a former resourcing manager with the firm.

G4S Chief executive Laurence Okello last week denied that the company wrongfully and unlawfully terminating Mr. Mutisya’s employment contract saying the company would instead seek legal redress to challenge the matter now headed for the courts.

“We do not recognize Mr. Mutisya’s version of events and we will be vigorously defending our position in the Labour Relations Court,” said Mr. Okello in a response in an email.

David Mutisya is accusing security firm G4S Kenya Limited of The former Resourcing Manager who had been with the firm for over two decades has moved to the Labour Relations Court for what he terms as unlawful and unfair termination of his employment contract by the security firm.

“As Resourcing Manager, I was in charge of recruitment of employees. I was dismissed from the firm in 2018 when I questioned the flouting of the company’s recruitment process by some directors of the organization. We had people being employed without going through the prescribed process and when I questioned the move, they fired me and they did not compensate me for the 25 years that I had worked for the firm,” he says.

As a result, Mutisya is now demanding nearly Sh100 Million from the security firm for what he terms in papers filed in court as unlawful and unfair termination of his employment contract.

Prior to the termination of his employment contract, David Mutisya had served the multinational company in various roles, having joined the firm in 1992 as a Personnel Officer.

In court papers the former manager describes in graphic detail how his opposition to a flawed recruitment process of Couriers in February 2018 among others triggered a chain of events that eventually led to his exit from G4S.

He accuses the company’s Human Resource Director Elijah Sitimah and his fellow director Geoffrey Mwove who was the Courier Director at the time of witch hunt and blatantly flouting the company’s recruitment policies by presenting for induction training and subsequent employment of candidates who had not attended a selection interview process in a clear case of favoritism and or corruption.

At the same time, the company’s Finance Director, Laurence Okello –now the company’s CEO is cited in the court papers for presiding over a flawed, illegal and unfair termination process which went against the law and the company’s internal policies.

Through his advocate Fidel Limo of Limo & Njoroge Law Firm, he is seeking a declaration by the Labour and Employment Relations Court that the termination was unlawful and unfair amongst other prayers.

It is not the first time the security company has found itself in a similar scandal.

In 2007, a Nairobi court ordered G4S Kenya to pay its former employee Ksh35 million for firing her after she allegedly rejected her boss’ sexual advances.

Saida Rashid Mbonika filed a law suit at the Nairobi Employment and Labour Relations Court against the G4S Company and its  Human Resource Director Dominic Ooko after the company dismissed her without following due procedure.

In her application, Ms Mbonika told the court that she was employed by G4S Security Company in 1996 and was working in the information technology department.

She said until 2006, when her services were terminated, she was the IT manager and was earning Ksh240,000 per month in addition to other allowances.

She told the court that the company advertised her position in 2003 while she still held it. Mr Ooko hired a man who was given another position after she questioned the move.

The court heard that between 2005 and 2006 Ooko made sexual advances and persistently commented about her physical appearance and dressing style, even after Ms Mbonika asked him to refrain.

The matter was later reported to her superior who directed that G4S company managing director Ken Wood to resolve the case.

But the matter was dismissed by Mr Wood who said the issue was trivial and indicated that Mr Ooko was free to act against the claimant as he deemed fit, calling Ms Mbonika “prickly and over-sensitive”.

While delivering the judgement, Justice Nelson Abuodha noted that the first respondent neglected to initiate any investigations into the claimant’s complaints. He stated that G4S showed bias and discrimination by abetting and condoning Mr Ooko’s unlawful and illegal actions.

The respondents denied the charges levelled against them by the claimant.

“Money cannot adequately compensate the wounded feeling but can reasonably provide a convenient mechanism for the person affected to pick up the pieces and move on. The claimant saw a connection between her dismissal and her complaint over sexual harassment,” the judge stated.

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