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Gachagua’s cook wins Sh380,000 award for being unlawfully sacked

Mr Samuel Wambugu Gitonga, a cook to former Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua, has been awarded Sh381,807 by a labour court for unfair termination of employment.

Mr Gitonga was employed on November 2013 by the county government as a cook in the governor’s residence and the appointment was for four years.

The appointment letter indicated that he would be working from 6.30 am or sometimes earlier as requested and checking out at 9 pm or sometimes later than that time.

Further, he had been asked to be on duty in the residence for two weeks overnight and without off-duty as there was no other employee to change shifts.


The employment was terminated on September 2014 and no reason was advanced.

He felt aggrieved by the move and filed the suit through Kebuka Wachira Advocates, naming the devolved government as the respondent.

He told Judge Byram Ongaya that he was dismissed without notice and demanded a compensation of Sh53,610 and Sh31,104 for unpaid off-days, Sh7,148 for unpaid public holidays, Sh48,000 for overtime and Sh42,888 for the one year gratuity.

He also sought damages for unfair and unlawful termination of employment.

In response, the county government submitted that Mr Gitonga was entitled to September pay, salary in notice and pay in lieu of annual leave.


“The county government’s action to terminate without notice and retroactively was clearly unfair. Mr Gitonga had served only about a year of the fixed term contract and he had about three years to go,” observed the court.

The judge said the cook did not contribute to the termination of the contract.