The National Bank of Kenya has been ordered to pay a former managing director Sh26,520,000 as compensation for unlawful sacking.
Sitting at the Milimani law courts on Friday, Justice Byram Ongaya said it was unfair for the bank to dismiss Munir Sheikh Ahmed on allegations of gross misconduct.
Munir was dismissed in 2016 over alleged gross misconduct occasioned by an alleged failure to take appropriate action to ensure that the bank’s financial results reflected the correct position.
“The bank’s interim financial statements for June 2015 and September 2015 erroneously showed that the bank was making profits whereas the final reports indicated actual losses,” the bank said.
Employment court judge Ongaya said it was unreasonable to dismiss Munir upon a general allegation that was never established as at the time of his sacking.
The lack of establishment of the reason for termination amounted to unfair labour practice, he added.
In court, Munir submitted that he was recruited to the position of MD at the bank in 2012 for a term of five years. He was fired 16 months to the end of his term.
In his view, his employer did not accord him a fair hearing before his dismissal.
He attributed the unfair hearing to the bank publishing a press statement in the print media about his compulsory leave on account of a pending internal audit process on the banks financial performance before hearing him out.
Further, the Inspector General of Police also informed the public he had ordered the immediate arrest of stated senior management officers of the bank including him, he added.
“The publication showed the board had already made up its mind and the decision had already been made in the public space through the media,” Munir said.
He added that the manner in which the termination was published made it impossible for him to secure alternative employment. His reputation had been damaged and he was also forced to sell his residential home due to financial difficulties.
Stating that he was arrested in a humiliating manner following the bank’s allegations, he sought for the court to compel the bank to compensate him Sh453 million.
Munir was arrested on July 14, 2016 at JKIA where he was booked to travel with his family members to Dubai.
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Opposing Munir’s application for compensation, the bank claimed that its reputation had suffered due to Munir’s misrepresentation of the financial statements.
Munir also sought for an order to reinstate him to the position of managing director on the terms he previously enjoyed for the remainder of the contract period.
But the court ruled that three years had already lapsed since his termination and that reinstatement was time-barred.