Court orders compensation of former varsity boss fired by Matiang’i illegally

Technical University of Mombasa Vice-Chancellor Josephat Mwatelah, who was sacked on May 12, 2016 by Education CS Fred Matiang'i over fraud claims. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Mombasa, KENYA: Mombasa Labour and Industrial court on Friday ordered  Education CS Dr.Fred Matiangi and  Technical University OF Mombasa (TUM) to pay former Vice Chancellor Prof. Josephat Mwatelah his six months gross salary.

The court also ordered for him to be paid a twelve months gross salary; as compensation for his unfair and illegal termination and all benefits and terminal dues accruing from his contract of the employment.

While delivering the judgement, Justice Onesmous Makau stated that Dr. Matiang’i  lacked legal and contractual authority to fire former TUM vice chancellor Prof. Mwatelah.

Justice Makau said that the  termination letter of  Prof. Mwatelah’s contract, was done against the law of the TUM charter, TUM statues and terms and conditions of service.

“Consequently I find and hold that the termination of the claimants contract by the said letter was unlawful because it was not written by the  claimants employer, it was an illegal punishment because the CS had no privity of contract, in the contract between the claimant and TUM,” said Makau.

“By terminating the claimants contract the CS had illegally descended from his throne of rendering advice and policy guidance to the council and wallowed into the private contractual relationship between the claimant and his employer,” added Makau.

Justice Makau further noted that under section 49(1) of the employment Act, if the court finds that the contract of the employment has been unfairly terminated by the employer; the court has the mandate to order for compensation.

Also,  he added that he is mandated to  issue orders for the claimant to be paid all his dues and benefits that have accrued under his contract of employment.

Makau further directed for the accruals to be calculated by TUM in writing and the tabulation to be filed in court within 30 days.

Prof Mwatelah was dismissed by Dr. Matiang’i on May 12, 2016  following investigations that raised concerns about integrity, abuse of office and maladministration in the office of the vice-chancellor.

Dr Matiang’i overruled the University Council, which had given a warning letter to Prof Mwatelah, who was serving a suspension since February 25, after the council found him guilty of eight out of 10 charges levelled against him.