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Court dismisses Sh609b suit by ex-East African Airline staff


 

The Court of Appeal has thrown out a Sh609 billion suit filed by former employees of the defunct East African Airline. A three-judge bench composed of Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Erastus Githinji and David Musinga dismissed the case filed by three former employees of the airline, saying it lacked merit.

“All in all, we find this appeal lacking in merit and dismiss it in its entirety. Each party shall bear its own costs of the appeal,” said the judges.

They, however, ordered Attorney General Githu Muigai to publish the names of those who had been paid and those who had not.

“We shall not disturb the learned judge’s order that was directed at the Attorney General requiring him to publish names of former employees of the corporation who had been paid and who had not been paid their dues and the total amount of money lying in the official receiver’s account at the National Bank of Kenya,” the judges ruled.

Alfred Mulima, Charles Mararo and Peter Kituku on behalf of their former colleagues had told the court in their application that they had not received a penny since 1977 when the airline folded.

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The appellants were declared redundant on February 15, just over a month after the airline shut down operations. They told the court as a result, they were entitled to redundancy payments, unpaid leave and other cessation of service benefits.

The three told the trial judges that there was no clarity as to the amount of money the Official Receiver and Liquidator deposited with the Government upon the winding up of the Corporation. They, along with other former employees, claimed Sh306 billion in respect to the provident funds and an extra 303 billion as redundancy compensation.

The appellants further claimed the official receiver and liquidator of the defunct corporation had, according to records obtained from the Kenya National Archives, made a payment of only a portion of the entitlement of some of the former employees by way of dividend distribution of 12 per cent in 1979 and 13 per cent in 1980.

AG Muigai in reply told the court some creditors who included former employees were paid their dues, but others have never showed up to pick their money.

He said those who were not paid are still in a report prepared by the liquidator in 1988 and their money is still being held at National Bank.

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