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Former director wins millions against Safaricom for unlawful dismissal

A whistle-blower’s tip on the doctoring of customer service reports at Safaricom, which saw the department’s director Pauline Wangechi Warui pushed out, has now cost the telco a total of Sh61.7 million in compensation.

Ms Warui left Safaricom on March 20, 2015 after signing a mutual separation agreement that was to see her get a Sh47.2 million exit package. But about a year later, she sued for unlawful termination, claiming that she was coerced into signing the exit deal.

Last week, High Court Judge Maureen Onyango ruled that Safaricom did not follow the right procedure in letting Ms Warui go, and ordered the telco to pay her an additional Sh14.5 million — eight months’ worth of her salary.

Safaricom had asked the court to order that Ms Warui refund the Sh47.2 million in the event that her case was successful, arguing that by suing, she had breached the terms of the separation agreement. Justice Onyango declined to give the order.

Ms Warui said she was sitting an exam when then CEO Bob Collymore called and asked her to report to her boss for an urgent appraisal.

When she got there, she claims that Collymore told her she was being let go.

He then led her to a boardroom, where the corporate affairs and legal director was waiting with the separation agreement.

In terminating her, Safaricom said that investigations had revealed that its call-centre system data had been altered to show that the department was doing well when, in reality, the performance was below target.