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Kenya: Orange taken to court over staff payout

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Mohammed Nyaoga, the lawyer representing Orange, insisted that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the application given the nature of the document, which the applicants want the court to convert into a decree.

Orange Kenya has been accused by former employees of going against an agreement, which was inked in October 2014, for a KES 1.2 billion retirement payout. According to Telecompaper, 997 former Orange Kenya workers had signed a deed of settlement with their former employer in August 2014, which enabled them to secure the payout.

Ahmednasir Abdullahi, a lawyer who is representing the ex-staff, told High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya that the issues currently being raised by Orange are only intended to frustrate the claimants’ efforts to access their benefits.


Abdullahi claimed the company’s argument, that the High Court was not the right place to file their application to seek recognition of the deed of settlement, was improper, given that the said agreement provided that it could be recorded in any court.

Abdullahi, according to the report,  added that Orange’s claims that advocates who signed the settlement on its behalf did not have authority, should not be taken seriously, because such claims were not disclosed to the other parties at the time of drafting the agreement. Ahmednasir said the presence of those advocates in court today shows that they had authority. The deed of settlement has also described the lawyers and their role.

Mohammed Nyaoga, the lawyer representing Orange, insisted that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the application given the nature of the document, which the applicants want the court to convert into a decree. He said the only option was for employees to file a fresh suit. He said the validity of the contract is contested, and if the court allows the ex-employees’ application, it will be required to supervise the processes contemplated under the deed even in the other courts where related matters are pending.

In response, Ahmednasir said that the deed did not envisage another proceeding, and if the arguments by Orange are allowed, it could set a precedent where claims that a lawyer did not have authority to enter into an agreement on behalf on a party may be used to defeat justice.

Staff Writer

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