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Former Employee Paid Eight Years’ Withheld Dues

A former employee of the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) finally received his outstanding dues from the Fund following the intervention of the Commission.

According to him, the Chief Executive Officer of the fund issued him with a suspension letter without pay on 25th September 2015 and he was handed over to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation officers. Later, he was arraigned before the Kibera Magistrate Court and charged with the offence of stealing by a person employed in public service contrary to Section 261 (1) as read with Section 280 of the Penal Code. The case went on for eight years and one month. However, the Fund suspended him without pay which offended the provisions of the Employment Act, 2007.

The case was heard to finality and on 30th October 2023, he was found not guilty and acquitted. Following his acquittal, he wrote a letter to the Fund on 7th November 2023 requesting the release of his withheld salaries, allowances, and gratuity and the lifting of his suspension to resume work following his acquittal by the court. However, the letter did not elicit any response prompting him to write a reminder and later through a letter dated 20th November 2023, he escalated the matter to the Principal Secretary, the State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action. The letters still did not elicit any responses prompting him to seek the intervention of the Commission on 10th January, 2024.

“The failure by the Fund to acknowledge my letter in my view amounts to unprofessionalism, inhumane treatment, and abuse of power by the Fund’s management because I believe the time which has elapsed from the judgment date is reasonable,” read his complaint to the Commission.

The Commission by way of inquiry took up the matter with the CEO, WEF, on 16th January 2024. In its letter, the Commission noted that the practice of withholding an employee’s emoluments during a disciplinary process has no foundation in the Employment Act and hence has no legal validity, the court having held so in a previous judgment.

Furthermore, the Commission brought to the attention of the CEO the provisions of Clause K.7(4) of the Public Service Commission Human Resources and Procedures Manual which provides that:

“Where a disciplinary or a criminal proceeding has been taken or instituted against an officer under suspension and such an officer is neither dismissed nor otherwise punished under the regulations, the whole or any salary withheld shall be restored to him upon the termination of such proceedings with effect from the date the salary was stopped.”

The CEO in a letter to the complainant and copied to the Commission on 19th January 2024 confirmed the payment of final dues. 

 “Following the concluded criminal case and subsequent request for payment of final dues, you are hereby notified that the Fund Management approved payment of your outstanding final dues totaling Kenya Shillings 1,142,230.66 upon submission of completed clearance form.”