Former Shelter Afrique boss sues firm for job loss

Former Shelter Afrique CEO Andrew Chimpondah. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

A former managing director of Shelter Afrique has sued the organisation claiming that he was removed from office without being granted a hearing.

Andrew Chimpondah says in a petition filed before the Employment and Labour Relations Court that he was voted out in a decision made in February, without getting an opportunity to respond to accusations levelled against him.

The Zimbabwean was employed by Shelter Afrique in July 2018 for a contract of five years.

He is quoting his monthly salary, a house allowance, and other benefits including diplomatic status, an insurance cover, and education grant for his children and a car loan.

He now wants the court to temporarily stop the organisation from replacing him, pending the determination of the case.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this suit, a conservatory order does issue restraining the Respondent Board of Directors whether by themselves their agents and or servants from recruiting and or employing any person in the position of the Managing Director or replacing the Petitioner,” he said in the petition.

Shelter Afrique, however, argues the court lacks the powers to determine the matter as it enjoys immunity from legal actions.

Justice Anne Mwaure Ngibuini said she will rule on the issue of jurisdiction on June 30.

“It is clear that the respondent is an international organisation established and conferred with such statutes by Kenya. Further, pursuant to the provisions of the Privileges and Immunities Act, the respondent is conferred with immunity from prosecution as well as the execution proceedings at its headquarters,” the organisation said through lawyer Chacha Odera.

Further, Mr Odera said the former MD has filed an employment claim couched as a constitutional right.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, Mr Chimpondah asked the court to dismiss the objection, saying he has no other place that he may run to get justice other than the court.

Mr Chimpondah also wants the court to stop the organisation from altering the repayment terms of loans and mortgages advanced to him.

He says he received news of the death of his father on January 29 and had to go home. Mr Chimpondah says while away, he was voted out upon his arrival from Zimbabwe.

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