Kenyatta Family Business: The Kenyatta family has appealed against a ruling that order the payment of Sh. 1.6 million compensation to an aggrieved plumber by its firm Brookside.
In a ruling that was delivered in January last year, the family was ordered to pay 80-year-old plumber David Gicheru nearly Sh. 1.6 million for unlawful sacking. Mr. Gicheru was sacked from the family’s Gicheha Farm.
According to a ruling that was delivered by the High Court in January this year, and which has been sustained by Justice Hellen Wasilwa, the first family will through its firm Brookside pay Mr. Gicheru Sh. 1.5 million for use of his picture by Brookside and Sh. 139,200 including 11 months compensation on his Sh. 11,600 pay for unfair sacking by Gicheha Farms in 2018 when he complained about the image.
Apparently, Mr. Gicheru was fired from the farm after complaining that Brookside had used his photo in a calendar without his consent.
In its appeal, Brookside says that the trial was unfair and that it was condemned without fair hearing. While appearing in court in June last year, the Kenyatta firm had said that the ruling and the award were grossly unfair.
However, the court ruled that they were aware of ongoing court proceedings and the ruling. They also received court papers from Mr. Gicheru in October 2019.
“From that point on until judgment was delivered on January 21, 2020, the respondent still had an opportunity to seek directions and file their submissions. They did not do so… In this court’s view, the counsel for the respondents ignored their duty to the respondents and failed to attend court and file the necessary documents. This omission cannot be excused. The respondents are the author of their own misfortune and therefore the application to set aside the judgment is denied,” Justice Wasilwa ruled.
The court has since stopped payment of the compensation pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.