Court declines to reinstate Rerec accountantMonday March 20 2023
The Employment and Labour Relations Court has declined to temporarily reinstate a senior finance officer at the Rural Electrification & Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) who was suspended last August over irregular payment of Sh430 million.
Justice Stella Rutto rejected the application by Lucy Kinyanjui to be returned to office, saying reinstatement is like a final order that is issued when a matter is determined.
The judge said the question of whether her termination was unfair and unlawful can only be determined upon the full presentation of facts and evidence from both sides.
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“Indeed, such a determination cannot most certainly be made at this interim stage,” the judge said.
Ms Kinyanjui urged the court to be reinstated as the principal finance officer at Rerec, saying the allegations of misconduct and negligence have damaged her reputation.
She said staying out of work for a long time destroys her good name that cannot be sufficiently redressed by an award of damages.
Ms Kinyanjui further said the absence from work was denying her the chance to advance her career.
The official was employed by Rerec as an Accountant III and rose through the ranks to become a chief accountant.
An internal audit report on July 2022 implicated her in irregular payment of invoices leading to the loss of Sh430 million at the agency.
But she says the employer cannot prove that she intended to approve the payments and the allegations against her are baseless as there is no proof.
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Ms Kinyanjui said in the absence of any original document that shows malice or intention to approve the payment invoices, the disciplinary committee unfairly conducted the hearing against her.
Rerec said the relationship between her and the corporation was broken and reinstating her was untenable.