A court has ordered Kenya’s leading mobile service provider Safaricom to pay its former senior employee a sum of Sh2.3 million as compensation for irregular dismissal over alleged involvement in graft.
Michael Karanja was dismissed from the major telco in November 2017 after serving as a senior detective in connection to various allegations, one of them being assisting a third party in procuring irregular MPESA tills from which he allegedly received funds, contrary to the company’s risk management code of ethics.
Safaricom also claimed that Karanja was involved in various conflicts of interest dealings that involved Safaricom MPESA agents.
Justice Jacob Gakeri said Safaricom had failed to provide sufficient evidence on the reasons for the sacking of the former principal officer for fraud detection and analysis.
Gakeri also opined that Karanja was not issued with a prior show cause notice and the suspension letter was exceedingly general.
According to the judge, Karanja did not receive a specific narrative on the allegations levelled against him, nor was he furnished with a copy of the report on the alleged investigations.
"The Claimant never received a specific narrative on the allegations made against him. The results of the alleged investigation are also not on record, nor is there evidence that a copy of the report was sent to the Claimant," Gakeri said.
The judge also said even though Safaricom may have had a reason good enough to dismiss Karanja, the company did not pursue the process to its logical conclusion.
Karanja cited he was not taken through any disciplinary hearing before being dismissed, nor did Safaricom take part in the case, therefore rendering the suit undefended.
Karanja’s summary dismissal letter stated investigations established he failed to follow the MPESA agent penalty guidelines in freezing and unfreezing accounts that had irregularities.