Dismissed KQ staff sue over Deloitte forensic audit report

A KQ’s plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A KQ plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

National carrier Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ has been dragged to court by two former senior employees claiming their termination was driven by malice and infringed on their constitutional rights.

Henry Owino Obonyo, former manager technical materials and services procurement, and Alloice Odhiambo Lumutu, former senior licensed aircraft engineer, are seeking to be reinstated to their former positions or be compensated.

Kenya Airways had contracted Deloitte Kenya to conduct a forensic audit of its operations to determine why the airline was undergoing financial losses.

The carrier, through its senior managers in the human resource, finance, technical, and head of supply chain, suspended and later terminated the services of Mr Owino and Mr Odhiambo.

They were sent home on allegations that “the forensic audit report had disclosed information warranting their termination”.

This position has been upheld by the Kenya Airways CEO and human resource director.

Disclose report

The two claimants argue that the national carrier and its senior management have refused to provide the forensic report which was the basis of the decision to suspend and later terminate them.

“It is either there was never such a forensic report after all or if there was, it never disclosed any information that could warrant our termination,” Mr Owino and Mr Odhiambo say in court papers.

The duo say if such a forensic report existed, it was likely to have recommended action against more members of staff including senior officers “occupying influential offices of decision making” at the Kenya Airways.

Thus, they add that it is possible they were targeted out of malice and discrimination.

Unable to pay debts

The two say in court papers that the unexpected unemployment and the lack of any other source of income, have made them unable to service their loans and mortgages and are at risk of losing the property used as collateral.

They said their appeals were dismissed by the Kenya Airways as having no merit and upheld the decision to terminate the services.

The two, however, argue that the response by the employer was “pre-determined, marred with malice and is unconstitutional”.