Court stops KQ from hiring new finance director


Former KQ finance director Alex Wainaina Mbugua. PHOTO | FILE

The High Court has stopped national carrier Kenya Airways from hiring a new finance director until a suit filed by former boss Alex Mbugua is determined.

Justice Monicah Mbaru Thursday ruled that the post remains vacant until she determines whether KQ’s decision to sack Mr Mbugua was in line with labour laws. She however declined to reinstate the sacked finance director until she delivers a final judgment.

The airline had argued that Mr Mbugua was sacked due to mounting pressure from the public owing to the Sh29.7 billion pre-tax loss recorded in the 2014-2015 financial year and poor performance.

Justice Mbaru however held that KQ is not a government agency hence public pressure cannot be a factor in making such decisions.

She added that KQ has to prove that Mr Mbugua’s performance had deteriorated to the point that it was a direct cause of the massive loss the airline suffered.

READ: Former KQ finance director Alex Mbugua seeks reinstatement

Mr Mbugua claimed that all job evaluations had proved that he carried out his duties satisfactorily.

Justice Mbaru ruled that Mr Mbugua had proven that KQ may have violated his labour rights, hence the need to preserve the finance director’s post until the matter is determined.

“Despite public pressure and extraordinary circumstances of the government of Kenya and KLM being the main shareholders, KQ is not a government agency, Kenya Airways has the duty to demonstrate that from the October 2015, Mr Mbugua’s good performance deteriorated so fast that it led to the alleged loss of Sh29.7bn,” Justice Mbaru held.