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Kenya Re boss back in office after labour court reprieve

mwarania

Kenya Re managing director Jadiah Mwarania. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Jadiah Mwarania reported to work on Monday morning without any resistance from the board, which had sacked him.
  • Justice Byram Ongaya on Friday ruled that Mr Mwarania's termination was unfair because he was not given an opportunity to be heard, finding that the alleged loss of trust and confidence in him was unfounded.
  • Mr Mwarania moved to court alleging unfair termination and obtained orders restraining the board from filling the MD’s position pending determination of the suit.

Kenya Re #ticker:KNRE managing director Jadiah Mwarania is back in office after the Employment and Labour Relations Court reinstated him.

Mr Mwarania’s lawyer Judy Guserwa said Kenya Re boss reported to work on Monday morning without any resistance from the board, which had sacked him.

Justice Byram Ongaya on Friday ruled that Mr Mwarania's termination was unfair because he was not given an opportunity to be heard, finding that the alleged loss of trust and confidence in him was unfounded.

The embattled CEO’s court battle is, however, not over yet.

“We have been served with a notice of appeal today,” said Ms Guserwa in a telephone interview.

Kenya Re appointed Mr Mwarania to the helm on April 11, 2011.

However, he had served the corporation for more than 20 years, including as general manager for reinsurance operations.

READ: Kenya Re boss sack tied to State House order, rules judge

The Kenya Re announced his exit in March through a Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) notice, which indicated that Michael Mbeshi, the reinsurer’s property management general manager, would take over as acting managing director. Board chairman David Kemei signed the notice.

Mr Mwarania moved to court alleging unfair termination and obtained orders restraining the board from filling the MD’s position pending determination of the suit.

But Mr Kemei claimed that Mr Mwarania lost his job for non-performance.

In his ruling, Justice Byram Ongaya of the Employment and Labour Relations Court observed that Mr Mwarania's efforts to comply with State House orders requiring him to initiate the replacement of board chairman and two other directors caused his tribulations.

READ: Kenya Re board chair says ex-CEO was sacked for non-performance

The judge said Mr Mwarania, who worked for Kenya Re for 27 years, had a clean record of performance until a letter by Public Service head Joseph Kinyua reached his office.

Mr Kinyua, in a confidential letter dated June 8, 2017, directed Mr Mwarania to list Michael Monari, Hilda Muchunku and Julius Koros for a board members’ election during the company's annual general meeting. They were to replace Mr Kemei, a Mr Mukoma and Shakaba.

The judge ordered the reinstatement of Mr Mwarania and directed full payment for the period he was away and directed that the board should not interfere with him.

Justice Ongaya noted it would be unfair for Mr Mwarania to suffer a loss of his "hard-earned professional reputation and employment in circumstances that are linked to his actions in the discharge of official duties".