Man seeks Ksh. 45M compensation from Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya


Abdi Mohammed Abdullahi. PHOTO| COURTESY
Abdi Mohammed Abdullahi. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya wants to pursue an out of court settlement of a case where they owe a former employee Ksh.45 million.
  • The former employee, Abdi Mohammed Abdullahi, accused the embassy of illegal termination of employment when he moved to court in 2015.
  • During the agreement, lawyers for the two parties, agreed to meet the Saudi Arabia Ambassador before the next mention date of the case.

The Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya wants to pursue an out of court settlement of a case where they owe a former employee Ksh.45 million.

The former employee, Abdi Mohammed Abdullahi, accused the embassy of illegal termination of employment when he moved to court in 2015.

The Embassy, through an advocate, acknowledged before Justice Byram Ongayo that they owe Mr. Abdullahi, who was head of research and a translator, salary arrears amounting to Sh4.9 million.

The court also heard that the Embassy will start by paying the complainant Sh2.9 million by March 16 as they negotiate further.

During the agreement, lawyers for the two parties, agreed to meet the Saudi Arabia Ambassador before the next mention date of the case.

The court was told that the subject of the meeting would be to discuss the claimant’s overtime, transport and house allowances claimed.

In the affidavit before the court, Mohammed, through lawyer Yusuf Bashir, wants a declaration that his employment contract with the Embassy was grossly violated and that he was under paid.

“I want a declaration that the respondents owes me Ksh.10.5 million as salary arrears from my employment as a translator,” Bashir told the court.

He also wants a court declaration that the Embassy owes him Ksh.12.9 million as salary arrears from his employment as head of research.

He says the respondents owes him severance pay as a translator for nine years amounting to Ksh.4.9 million.

They also owe him transport allowance, overtime and house allowances.

Mohammed is also seeking exemplary damages for wrongful termination and one year additional pay.

He filed the case in 2015 stating that he worked for the embassy for 23 years.

“I was first employed by the embassy as a translator in 1995, however my job description was not defined in my first employment contract,” he added.

He states that following his termination, he never received his salary arrears, accrued leave days, his service pay or benefits after putting in 23 years of service.

He claims that the circumstances under which he was dismissed are in humane and a blatant disrespect of the labour laws.

“The respondent actions breached the relevant provisions of employment act 2006 as it discriminated the claimant in respect of terminating his employment,” the affidavits read.

In 1998, Mohammed said he was issued with a new contract however the remuneration and job description was not that of a translator but rather that of a telephone operator.

He says after raising the issue the ambassador at the time informed him that he would correct the anomaly.

Mohammed further says two years went by but the situation was not rectified, instead he was told that a promotion was coming up and he was asked to exercise patience.

In May 2000, a new contract was issued to the claimant where he was promoted from translator to head of research and translation. The only issue with contract was that the clause on remuneration was left blank and the claimant was informed that the gap would be filled with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia.

“To the claimant’s dismay when the contract books were returned to the embassy, the salary clause had been erased and a sum equivalent to his previous salary written down, this was despite his promotion and the contract clearly stating that he was the head of research and translation,” the lawyer said.

“Despite the correction that was effected on his salary in the year 2008, the embassy has failed, neglected and or refused to pay him the arrears of his salary,” says Mohammed.

The matter will be mentioned on 20th March to asses the out of court settlement progress.

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