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NBK boss denies claims in sexual assault case

In his defence, Musau says in court documents, that Luku did not fully explore internal mechanisms at the bank before taking the matter to court/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – National Bank of Kenya Managing Director Wilfred Musau has filed a replying affidavit in a court case in which a female employee accused him of sexual assault.

In the affidavit, Musau denies claims by Asanta Samantha Luku and accuses her of blackmailing him after failing to secure a promotion.

The bank, which is listed as the first respondent in the case, also filed a response Wednesday, explaining how it handled the matter internally before it was escalated to court. The affidavit was filed by the bank’s Human Resource Director Rodgers Munguni.

In his defence, Musau says in court documents, that Luku did not fully explore internal mechanisms at the bank before taking the matter to court.

“I verily believe that the suit and application herein has not been presented in good faith but is rather intended to achieve a collateral purpose including pursuit of vendetta against the bank and myself in the court arena and therefore amounts to gross abuse of the process of the court,” Musau said in the affidavit.

He particularly questioned the motive behind the dissemination of the information through various media, including social media.

“I believe that given the similarities between the allegations made herein and those published as aforesaid, there can be no other conclusion other than that the claimant was the source of the said publications,” he said.

In her suit, Luku accuses the bank MD of assaulting her after declining his sexual overtures, which he was using to intimidate her before she could get promoted.

She particularly cites an incident during a meeting with the MD at a joint where he allegedly assaulted her by pushing her to the ground on declining his request and was even treated in hospital. She is now seeking Sh55 million in damages after suing the bank and Musau.

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But Musau denies the allegations and has termed the cumulative sum in the claim statement as part of “sensationalizing the allegations in order to excite the audience targeted by the social media publications.”

He disputes all the allegations raised by the bank employee, describing them as “a fabrication as I do not directly deal with recruitment of officers of the rank held by the claimant.”

He said the contentious post which the bank employee was eyeing for promotion is already filled after the post was re-advertised.

“I am informed by the Director Human Resource that the position of Business Development Manager was re-advertised and the position has since been competitively filled by the most successful candidate,” Musau said, adding that the whole process was handled by the HR department.

Luku claims in her suit that she failed to secure the promotion after declining to give into sexual demands of the MD.

And in his affidavit, the bank’s HR Director Munguni said the employee had declined to furnish him with a detailed explanation of the allegations as required by the bank’s HR manual guiding employees even after reminding her several times.

He said the bank had tried to resolve the issue through the beard, but the employee did not turn up on a set date, when she reported that she was unwell and admitted to hospital.

On allegations by the employee blaming the MD for frustrating her promotion, the HR boss said she did not qualify.

“Whereas the claimant was interviewed for the position, it was realized that she was not eligible for a promotion or appointment to that position as she had not served in her present position for the minimum period of 18 months an employee is required under the bank’s policy before qualifying for a higher position,” he said.

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Both the bank and its MD are now urging the court to dismiss Luku’s suit “with costs on account of open dishonesty and being devoid of merit.”

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