Marine agency sued in Sh70.7m pay row
Dr Ezekiel Okemwa sued Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute after it failed to reinstate him to his job when he was acquitted of criminal charges.
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute director James Njiru (right) at a past function. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT
A marine scientist has filed an application seeking to compel the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute to pay him Sh70.7 million pursuant to a previous judgment a labour court issued in his favour. Dr Ezekiel Okemwa argues in suit papers that he had sued the agency at the Employment and Labour Relations Court after it failed to reinstate him to his job when he was acquitted of criminal charges.In the application before the Constitutional and Judicial Review Division of the High Court in Mombasa, he has named Prof James Njiru, a director at the institution and the State agency as respondents.Through lawyer William Wameyo, Dr Okemwa argues upon conclusion of the case at the labour court his advocates wrote several letters to the agency demanding payment of the money.“The decretal amount continues to accrue interest from July 2016 and the amount currently due is Sh70.7 million,” he said in his affidavit.Dr Okemwa said the marine agency has refused to settle the sum, forcing him to sue.He was suspended from his employment at the institution in 1999 following a criminal charge against him.“Upon conclusion of the case in 2012, the applicant was acquitted of all charges,” reads part of the suit documents.
He further argued that the agency also failed to reinstate him following the conclusion of the trial.The court awarded Dr Okemwa Sh33m in salary arrears, Sh20 million in damages for unfair and unlawful termination and interest at 14 percent per annum computed from the date of the award.He said the respondent in defiance of the court’s decree and without any justifiable cause has refused to pay the money.“The applicant has suffered financial embarrassment and continues to suffer,” he said.