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Select Telkom staff to get soft landing after merger deal

Airtel and Telkom lines on sale in Nairobi
Airtel and Telkom lines on sale in Nairobi streets. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NMG 

Telkom Kenya has said the merged entity with Airtel Kenya will absorb an undisclosed number of employees, providing them with a soft landing after it declares some redudant.

This comes just weeks after the firm indicated that it would lay off 575 workers, equivalent to about 72 percent of its workforce, a move that sent shock waves among its workers. The move is expected to leave Kenya’s third-largest telco with only about 225 workers.

“The intention is to advertise and interview Telkom employees for positions in the combined entity and its outsourced partners,” the firm said in a statement yesterday. It added, however, that available positions will determine reabsorption.

“Engagement of these employees will be guided by the combined entity’s recruitment criteria as well as the mapped positions therein.”

The merger with rival Airtel Kenya, which is pending approvals from the competition and communication watchdogs, has run into headwinds as former Airtel staff opposed the plan pending conclusion of a suit in which they are seeking Sh1 billion compensation for unfair termination. The 52 ex-workers opposed the deal on the basis of refusal of the merged entity to shoulder liabilities of Airtel and Telkom Kenya. The former employees, who have a pending case in court, were responding to a July 12 notice the Communications Authority of Kenya in the Kenya Gazette notice that invited individuals or entities opposed to the merger to inform the regulator.

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Separately, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) told the Parliamentary Committee on Implementation on Tuesday that it had opened an inquiry into how the deal to merge the two telcos had been brokered.

“We will constitute a legal team to see whether EACC can temporarily halt further transactions on the deal to safeguard public interest,” EACC director of investigations Abdi Mohamud told the House team.

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