Fired Soldier Wins Ksh 7.2M in Case Against KDF

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) recruits pass out parade on September 24, 2020
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) recruits pass out parade on September 24, 2020

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi awarded a former Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldier Major Laban Agak Nyambok Ksh7.2 million in compensation for unlawful termination.

According to the ruling by Judge James Rika, the claimant was unlawfully dismissed and without benefits.

"He is granted half monthly salary withheld by the 1st Respondent (KDF) for 36 months, at Ksh 3,109,536; medical risk allowance at Ksh 146,000; and compensatory damages at Ksh 4 million – total Ksh 7,255,536," the judge ruled.

According to the court documents Agak joined the service as a Cadet Officer in 1991 before rising through the military ranks to Major.

Milimani Law Courts
Milimani Law Courts that hosts a number of courts within the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

He was posted as the Head of the Intensive Care Unit at the Armed Forces Memorial Hospitals but was accused of receiving about Ksh370,000 to clear a fictitious hospital bill.

The Claimant was found guilty and sentenced to 1-year imprisonment by the Court Martial in June 2018.

However, the ruling was struck out by the High Court in June 2020.

The employee was dismissed in 2018 after a meeting held by the Defence Council. His termination was without benefits.

He however complained that he was unaware of the termination and sought compensation since he was forced to retire at 57 years.

"He has not received any salary since he was acquitted. As a Major, there were certain procedures to be followed, in his dismissal, which were ignored. He did not in any event, receive a letter of dismissal, explaining the reason for dismissal. He was not called to any disciplinary hearing," read part of the court documents.

Agak sought to have half his salary between April 2015 and May 2018 (Ksh3.2 million) when the case in court, full salary from June 2018 to date (Ksh7.9 million), half risk allowance (Ksh146,000), redeployment or retirement with full benefits.

KDF however did not reinstate Agak or offer him the benefits as requested.

According to Judge Rika, it was not necessary for the High Court to give an order reinstating the Claimant; once the sentence to dismiss him was set aside, he would be deemed a continuing Employee of KDF. It was for KDF to instruct the Claimant to resume military service or accede to his proposal for retirement with all retirement benefits.

Further, the court ruled that the termination did not take place until the claimant was issued with a termination letter which he was not given.

The court also ruled that the redeployment of the employee would not be in the interest of the public or military service since he passed the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.

KDF soldiers being flagged off to DRC on November 12, 2022
KDF soldiers being flagged off to DRC on November 12, 2022.