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Former Kenya Power bosses sue company over retrenchment

They claim they lost their jobs in 2015 after Kenya Power declared them redundant
They claim they lost their jobs in 2015 after Kenya Power declared them redundant following a reorganisation plan disguised as voluntary early retirement. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Thirteen former senior Kenya Power executives have sued the utility firm over their retrenchment and are demanding over Sh200 million they claim was underpayment when their jobs were terminated.

They claim they lost their jobs in 2015 after Kenya Power declared them redundant following a reorganisation plan disguised as voluntary early retirement.

Their lawyer, Judith Guserwa, argues that Kenya Power discriminated against the executives on failure to comply with its own human resource manual, failing to give them equal treatment with other employees and retiring them on unfavourable terms.

"Kenya Power had indeed identified and targeted the claimants whom it coerced into applying for the voluntary early retirement and offered them less favourable terms than those they were entitled to," said Mr Guserwa.

Those who were affected include: Raphael Njoroge Mwaura (chief manager corporate strategy), Samuel Migwi Theuri (deputy corporate communications manager), Mary Waeni Wambua (finance accounting manager), Anne Elizabeth Owuor (debt control manager), Charles Lwanga Ooko (chief engineer design) and Cleophas Simiyu Wekesa (chief engineer, design and construction -Coast).

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Others are Florence Kirimania Obura (corporate communications manager), Godfrey Kigarie Gathige (chief engineer, research and development), James Ngugi Njuguna (customer relations and marketing manager), Joshua Kamau Mwangi (regional manager, Nairobi South), Nathaniel Waithaka Wanyagi (chief engineer, design and construction), and Samuel Njoroge Njogu (deputy manager, treasury and revenue accounting).

They are demanding Sh267,316,272 in outstanding payment of salaries, balance of severance pay in terms of the human resource manual, bonus payment for the year 2014 and 2015. They had served for between 17 and 35 years.

Kenya Power, through the law firm of Hamilton Harrison & Mathews Advocates, argues that the claimants were not coerced into applying for the voluntary early retirement.

"They had no entitlement other than the terms of the voluntary early retirement, which they had accepted. The terms were also not discriminatory as alleged," says Kenya Power.

Judgment will be delivered on October 31.

In 2015, Kenya Power sent 24 senior staff packing in a management shake-up linked to an audit of the firm that recommended a reduction of positions at the top.

The majority of the exiting managers had been asked to apply afresh for the fewer top jobs that were left after the restructuring, but were not successful.

The number of executives reporting to the managing director has, for instance, been reduced to 10 from the previous 18.

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