12 January 2019

Kenya: Sacked Magistrate Sues Over HIV Status, Wants to Be Reinstated

Photo: Daily Trust

A former magistrate who was relieved of her duties after disclosing her HIV status has moved to the court seeking reinstatement with full benefits.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) has certified the case as urgent and admitted it for hearing.

Judge Byram Ongaya directed lawyer Jason Okemwa representing the former magistrate, to serve the Judicial Service Commission and Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi with the pleadings by February 5.

"The pre-trial hearing of this case will be February 7, 2019 before any judge in the ELRC division," Justice Ongaya ruled last week.

The claimant NML said that she was infected with HIV by her husband who was introduced to her by her pastor. Upon discovery that she was infected, the administrator dumped her with their two HIV/AIDS ailing children. They have since died.

She is now struggling to survive with no earnings at all. The magistrate was sent packing when she was serving an interdiction on half salary in 2016.

"(The interdiction) was inconveniencing and her termination was insensitive, unfair and was a death penalty as her support was completely cut off," Mr Okemwa says in court papers.

The former magistrate asserts that she has nothing to fall back on since her health cover was withdrawn by the Judiciary and all her cards taken away.

Mr Okemwa is asking the court to enforce his client's constitutional rights by directing the JSC to reinstate her with full benefits.

Kenya

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