The Employment and Labour Relations Court has awarded a former Nairobi Hospital employee Sh1.3 million compensation for unlawful dismissal.
The health facility is said to have fired its acting head of procurement and stores department, Anne Karoki, over a security cameras tender allegedly issued to the wrong bidder.
Justice Mathews Nduma found that the facility sacked Ms Karoki without a hearing.
The judge also stated that the Ms Karoki was not given a chance to defend herself over the CCTV tender allegedly erroneously awarded to Servtel Communications.
The court threw out evidence presented by Maurice Mayende, the hospital’s human resource officer, concerning an alleged disciplinary hearing held on March 1, 2018.
“Maurice tendered false evidence before the court of an alleged disciplinary hearing, which he did not attend and allegedly took place on March 1, 2018, the date Ms Karoki received the letter of termination…the court finds that the evidence by Maurice is false and is incapable of belief,” said Justice Nduma.
Ms Karoki was fired in February 2018 for making a mistake when awarding a tender for the installation of 19 new CCTV cameras for Sh1.6 million.
The tender was supposed to go to Icom Technologies, who had the lowest quotation, but ultimately went to Servtel Communications.
Ms Karoki indicated in her response to the notice to show cause that on December 18, 2017, a person named Stephen Gichohi from the office of the chief security officer rushed into her office and demanded that she sign three documents that the security officer urgently needed.
She skimmed through the documents, noting that they included a purchase request, purchase order and justification, and budget approval.
She claimed she was unaware that the order was placed with Servtel Communications Limited rather than Icom Technologies, which had been permitted to provide the cameras.
She claimed she was unaware of the inaccuracy until she was told about “the honest mistake” caused by the hurry with which the documents were needed.
She received a note on February 26, 2018, inviting her to a disciplinary hearing on February 28, 2018.
Arriving at the location, she told the court, no hearing was held. An enquiry into the matter bore no fruits, she testified.
She received a letter terminating her work two days later and a complaint to the hospital’s chief executive elicited no action.
Ms Karoki claimed her dismissal was motivated by malice because the other three signatories to the purchase orders she signed were not fired or penalized in any manner.