Kenya Tea Development Agency Ltd board at a press conference at their offices at KTDA building in Nairobi on December 1, 2021. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG
Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings (KTDA) has accused its former company secretary, Dr John Kennedy Omanga, of failing to disclose to a judge that he resigned to contest a political seat when he went back to court seeking reinstatement of his salary.
The agency says in court documents that Dr Omanga resigned in June to contest a senatorial position. He, however, failed to disclose this to the court when he made his application in July for backdated pay.
KTDA told the court that the former company secretary was on half-salary by the time he left the agency, and had agreed with his employer to be paid arrears of Sh3.8 million, pending his resignation.
He went back to the Employment and Labour Relations court last month and obtained an order before Justice James Rika, reinstating the half-salary, pending the hearing of the case on October 3.
KTDA said in its application that it was shocked to be served with an order on August 23, directing it to pay Dr Omanga, adding that his contract was terminated on June 9, when he sought an elective seat as per the company’s human resource policy on political activities.
“Upon perusal of the application, it became evident that the claimant had withheld material facts from the court at the time of seeking orders to reinstate the half salary,” said KTDA’s lawyer Mathews Odero.
He said Dr Omanga has gone to the extent of relying on correspondence between them but selectively withheld the information about his employment status.
The judge noted that Dr Omanga was required to resign from his position as required by the group human resource policy.
“It is not likely that he would be in an employer-employee relationship with the respondents, while engaged in a senatorial bid,” Justice Rika said.
Dr Omanga stated in his petition that he was on half-salary but the employer allegedly reached out to him with a proposal to settle the matter out of court.
He says his advocate informed him on July 12 that they were still negotiating and sought a mention date of the case, as the parties engaged in talks.
“That no sooner had the matter been fixed for mention that the 1st respondent, without any justifiable cause, maliciously and with the intent of curtailing my right to access justice, declined to continue remitting my half salary as being remitted prior to the filing of the suit,” he said.
He says the move is meant to render him destitute without any source of income. He says part of his salary was used for his medical scheme insurance, which is currently in default because of non-remittance.
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