, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Sacked National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Trustee Tom Odongo has now moved to court to challenge his sudden dismissal by Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi on Monday this week.
In his application to the Industrial Court, Odongo says Kambi’s decision to terminate his employment was unfair and illegal and that he even lacked powers to sack him.
The court has now summoned Kambi and the NSSF board to appear before it on August 1 for an inter-parte hearing.
In his complaint, Odongo said that to date, Kambi had not given any substantial reasons for the termination and that the procedure of employment under the Employment Act was not followed.
“The exit clause in the contract of employment does not entitle the respondents to terminate at will but there is an implied condition by virtue of sections 43 and 45(1) of the Employment Act that employment shall not be terminated unfairly,” he stated.
“I learnt of my termination through the electronic media. I was not given any opportunity to make representations before then. My letter of termination was given to me long after the news had been aired,” he said.
Through his lawyer Oriaro Geoffrey, Odongo wants his termination suspended until the suit is heard and determined.
He has also accused Kambi of overlooking the Board of Trustees by not seeking its consent before he took the action.
“My contract term was for three years effective from the date of my gazettement and I had a legitimate expectation to serve for three years as long as I meet expectations of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has not communicated to me its displeasure with my performance nor has it raised any matter of want of probity,” he complained.
Odongo was sacked on Monday and ordered to vacate office immediately and his position taken over by the Fund’s Secretary Hope Mwashumbe.
“My appointment was on the recommendation of the Board of Trustees. It was through a competitive and transparent process where I emerged the best overall.” he said in his suit.
Odongo wants to be reinstated or compensated for unexpected dismissal.
Earlier, sources from the Fund indicated that there was an exchange of words between the members of the Board of Trustees and Kambi during a crisis meeting at the NSSF offices on Wednesday.
The board demanded to know why Kambi took the move, but he remained adamant on the matter.