Sacked Kenya airport guard wants $390,000 compensation

Monday July 17 2017

Former Kenya Airport Authority security officer

Former Kenya Airport Authority security officer Daizy Cherogony. She is demanding $390,000 (Sh41m) in compensation for wrongful dismissal. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


A Kenyan woman security guard who was sacked on allegations of mistreating Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), now wants $390,000 (Sh40.9m) in compensation.

In her amended memorandum of claim filed at the Nyeri Employment and Labour Relations Court, Ms Daizy Cherogony indicates that her dismissal was wrongful, illegal and an act that undermines the security of the Kenyan aviation industry.

She had initially stated she wanted $23,000 (Sh2.4m) in compensation.

Through Matundura Advocates, Ms Cherogony wants the court to compel Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to compensate her, explaining that she is entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal and unfair termination of employment.

In her new claim, she wants Sh128,916 for payment in lieu of notice monthly salary, Sh1,547,001 for wrongful termination, and Sh116,720 for unpaid salary raise as per the collective bargaining agreement.

Aggravated damages

She is also seeking Sh60,000 as house allowance increase, Sh43,137 for leave, Sh545,380 for unpaid holidays, Sh2,965,068 for punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages for loss of career prospects and Sh35,580,816 damages for loss of employment up to retirement age of 60 years.

Her employment was terminated on May 11 this year for mistreating and humiliating the Education CS by requiring him to queue for a security check like other passengers, which almost led him to miss his flight.

Ms Cherogony, 37, was issued with a dismissal letter signed by the Managing Director, Mr Jonny Andersen, on the grounds of misconduct.

The CS was flying to Kisumu on the evening of April 5, 2017 and was accompanied by his security guards.

Follow the queues

Mr Matiang’i, Ms Cherogony claimed, did not want to follow the queues and wanted special treatment despite the fact that it was raining and other passengers were complaining as the lines were increasing.

She indicated that according to the security manual Cabinet secretaries usually queue like normal passengers unless they have special passes that need them to have special arrangements before they arrive at the airport to board flights.

She faulted the KAA, saying her sacking was an act of undermining the aviation regulatory framework and Kenyan and international law under which the authority operates.

Ms Cherogony said the KAA has refused to compensate her though several demands and notices to sue had been issued.

She wants the court to declare that her right to fair labour practices under Article 41 (1) of the Constitution were violated by the employer.

Security procedures

She also wants the court to rule that subjecting Mr Matiang’i to security screening did not amount to gross misconduct since it was the normal procedures.

“The dismissal does not only affect her but also all security personnel at the airports in Kenya who may be reluctant to follow the law and security procedures when dealing with VIP travellers and their escorts for fear of losing their jobs,” argues Ms Cherogony.

She further contends that the KAA’s move may expose the country’s security and the entire world to risks of attacks from terrorists and other extremist groups from within and outside the country.

She added that for the 11 years she had worked at JKIA, she had never been subjected to any disciplinary proceedings, given any warning letters or committed any act of misconduct.

The safety

She said the airport management accused her of a wrongdoing that never existed since she was doing her job as a security supervisor.

Ms Cherogony added that she was never shown any complaint written by the Education CS, saying the dismissal was victimisation and discrimination by the employer.

She indicated that she has previously been assaulted and intimidated by VIPs who she said wanted to access the airport without going through security checks.

“I have always stood my ground and performed my job as per the security manuals and as required by both Kenyan and International law for the security of the travellers and the safety of all Kenyans,” she noted.

The case will be mentioned on September 19, 2017.