Economy

Ex-Delmonte manager gets Sh9 million for unfair sacking

delmonte

A Del Monte products shop in Thika. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NMG

Summary

  • A former top manager of fruit grower and processor, Delmonte Kenya, will be paid Sh8.8million in damages for unfair dismissal over allegations of stealing sugar.
  • This is after Court of Appeal struck out an appeal filed by the company challenging decision of the Industrial Court to award Mr Patrick Njuguna Kariuki the damages.
  • Appellate judges William Ouko, Wanjiru Karanja and Agnes Murgor said Delmonte failed to file the appeal in accordance with this court’ rules.

A former top manager of fruit grower and processor, Delmonte Kenya, will be paid Sh8.8million in damages for unfair dismissal over allegations of stealing sugar.

This is after Court of Appeal struck out an appeal filed by the company challenging decision of the Industrial Court to award Mr Patrick Njuguna Kariuki the damages.

Appellate judges William Ouko, Wanjiru Karanja and Agnes Murgor said Delmonte failed to file the appeal in accordance with this court’ rules.

For instance, Delmonte failed to furnish Mr Kariuki with a copy of the letter requesting for certified proceedings of the Industrial Court. It also did not file any application seeking to extend time to file the record of appeal having failed to meet the 60-days deadline stipulated in the rules.

The judges noted that the record of appeal was filed on August 21, 2017 while the judgement that the company intended to challenge was delivered on October 26, 2012.

In the judgment, the Industrial Court declared that termination of Mr Kariuki’s employment over allegations of conspiracy to defraud the company and stealing by servant was unfair.

Justice Byram Ongaya awarded him Sh8,863,282 and directed Delmonte to re-engage him in the position.

Mr Kariuki was arrested on November 6, 2009 and dismissed three days later. He was arraigned at a Nyeri court to answer the charges and the . case later transferred to Thika.

He was later acquitted in 2011 with the judge noting that the sugar being a raw material, was outside the duties of the Mr Kariuki as the warehouse and logistics manager charged with the company’s products and not raw materials.

He added that Mr Kariuki was entitled to fair treatment as provided for in the Constitution and the Employment Act, 2007.

“The Respondent deserves censure for such flagrant breach of the law against its trustworthy and long serving officer (22 years) who had dedicated all his professional life from the youthful age, immediately after university graduation, to the service of the Respondent,” ruled justice Ongaya.