A case in which officials of Veterinary Laboratory Members Club expelled a member took a drastic turn after Nairobi Court Judge L. N. Mugambi made a ruling on October 26, 2023, declaring the expulsion null and void. The club’s disciplinary committee had expelled John Kamau Mwaura over allegations of sexual harassment and indecent behaviour.
However, the judge disagreed with the decision. “A declaration is hereby issued that the 2nd Respondent’s decision to expel the Petitioner from the 1st Respondent was in violation of the Petitioner’s right to fair administrative action under Article 47 of the Constitution. Consequentially, this court orders that the decision of respondents pursuant to the recommendation of its disciplinary committee passed against the petitioner on 24/2/2022 and communicated through the letter of March 24th, 2022, is hereby quashed for the reasons aforesaid.” Judge Mugambi ruled.
According to the club’s affidavit by the secretary general, Dick Omondi, he revealed that Mwaura’s first incident occurred on or around November 20, 2021, when he allegedly indecently exposed himself to the employees and some members of the veterinary club. The incident was reported by the club food and beverage supervisor in a letter received by the club’s general manager on December 3, 2021.
Another incident occurred on the eve of July 19, 2021, when the petitioner allegedly made insolent and discourteous comments towards a food and beverage supervisor at the club. A disciplinary hearing was conducted in accordance with the club’s revised constitution of 2017 and the bylaws, and he responded orally to the complaints levelled against him. They denied the allegations that he was discriminated against due to his political stance concerning the elected officials and his disability.
The club further disputed the allegations of discrimination against Mwaura based on his disability and political stance, particularly that the club’s facilities did not accommodate his disability and that the disciplinary process did not in any way infringe on this right. Mwaura, in a quick rejoinder, claimed that several of his rights had been infringed upon by the decision of the Vets Club’s Disciplinary Committee to have him expelled from the club. He contends that his right to fair administrative action, freedom from discrimination, his human dignity, his right not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman, or degrading manner, his right to access information, and his freedom of association were infringed upon by the club.
The judge, however, declined to award him Ksh. 20 million for exemplary and punitive damages. The ruling reads, “The decision by this court has only faulted procedural fairness in disciplining the petitioner. It did not go into the merits or substance of the complaints made against him. I therefore decline to award damages, general, punitive, or exemplary”.