The Labour Court in Nairobi slapped Pastor James Ng'ang'a church, Neno Evangelism with a Ksh300,000 penalty as compensation for the unfair dismissal of an employee.

Justice Maureen Onyango awarded Christopher Kinama, a church caretaker who was fired by Ng'ang'a unceremoniously.

The court heard that Kinama was fired by Pastor Ng’ang’a in 2017 over an alleged car park fees collection dispute.

Neno Evangelism had claimed it had called and written a letter to Kinama, giving him a second chance but the court noted that the date indicated was November 18, 2016, while he was fired on January 25, 2017.

“With utmost respect to Apostle James Ng'ang'a, the author of the said letter, I am not convinced that it was humanly possible for him to predict that such events would take place and write the letter in advance," the judge noted.

"I have carefully perused the said letter. It is dated November 18, 2016. As indicated in the pleadings, the events that led to the claimant’s termination occurred on January 25, 2017,” she continued.

The judge also ruled that the church’s management did not give him an opportunity to argue his side of the story before firing him.

The Feud

Kinama was employed by Neno in 2007 as a caretaker, earning Sh8,000 gross pay. At the time he was fired he was earning Sh15,000.

He told the court that on January 24, 2017, Ng’ang’a called him, instructing him to take charge of the church’s canteen and would also be in charge of collecting money.

The court heard that at the time, the church had employed a new car attendant and friction ensued between the two on who ought to collect parking fees.

Kinama said Ng’ang’a called again on January 25 at 9 pm demanding to know why he had not heeded the instructions.

He told the pastor that the church's cashier had also waded into the matter, asserting that she was in charge.

The caretaker further informed Ng’ang’a that they had sought the church manager's intervention, but the matter was still not resolved.

According to Kinama, an angry Ng’ang’a dismissed his explanation and fired him, and to support his claim, he attached texts allegedly sent by the pastor.