Angolan envoy ‘lives large’ as employees go five months without pay
Kenyan employees of the Angolan Embassy in Gigiri, Nairobi have threatened to take legal action against Ambassador Marques De Faria after going for five months without pay.
The employees, who visited the Nation Centre to air their grievances on Monday, claimed that the ambassador had refused to even meet them and discuss the way forward.
They alleged the ambassador had been living a posh life in one of the most expensive hotels in the city, yet he had not paid the over 30 Kenyan employees and several others from his country.
In a letter addressed to him on October, 30, the employees pleaded with Mr De Faria to pay them since they had not paid school fees for their children, rent, food and other necessities.
“In a meeting between you and Kenyan staff working at the embassy on 6 September, you informed the staff that there would be continued delays in salary which was in arrears,” reads the letter in part.
“The employees were promised that the next salary payment was to be paid early October. This has not happened. Unfortunately, the continued delays in salaries has been extended to end of October without communication. The only salary paid was a month’s salary and not the accumulated arrears as promised,” the employees lamented.
In a verbal response to the Human Resources Manager, the employees alleged, the ambassador asked whoever had a problem to go face the ambassador individually.
“He told us to go meet him one by one, and to us, this means that he wants to start victimizing us. He knows that no one is courageous enough to face him,” an employee said.
Another letter to the ambassador on November, 1, the employees refused to meet the ambassador individually.
“Your Excellency, we have been informed by the HR office that you would like to see us individually. However, Your Excellency, owing to the letter sent to you on October 31, we as the local staff feel that you need to meet us as a group in order to address these issues collectively,” the employees signed.
They threatened to “seek external consultant to intervene on the matter” if the ambassador will not have addressed their issues by Thursday, November 4.
But the ambassador, in a phone response, said the employees had trusted the media and asked them to seek redress from journalists.
“Who gave you my number? Why are you concerned about what is happening here, huh? You are not my employee,” he said.
He said the media should solve the issues aired by the employees if they feel that is their resolve, adding that he did not care what goes to print.
“The media knows better than me, no? Write whatever you want to write. I have no explanation to give you. You are not my employee,” he said and disconnected the call.
Other grievances made by the employees included non-procedural dismissal and cruel and unfair treatment. They also claim that they are deducted NHIF and NSSF contributions, which is never remitted to the funds.