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Blow to bank manager who sexually harassed 'Wings To Fly' beneficiary

07 September 2015, 21:39 Joseph Njung'eh

Nyeri - Former Equity Bank manager who was sacked following allegations of sexually harassing a beneficiary of 'Wings To Fly' program has suffered a blow after the Employment and Labor Relations court ruled he was not entitled to any damages.

Justice Byram Ongaya said that although the Bank did not establish the truth of the allegations, the claimant, Charles Ngochi, vigorously contributed to his termination.     

While sitting at Nyeri High Court, Ongaya observed that Ngochi breached the program's Child Protection Policy which among other things barred the staff from developing physical or sexual relationships with children with whom they interact or work.  

Ngochi had been accused by the scholar of forcefully hugging her, touching her breasts and unbuttoning her blouse when he took her for lunch at a hotel after visiting her home late in 2013 where he had gone to to a background check.

Read Also: Magistrate disqualifies herself from teacher sex assault case

He however denied going to the hotel with the scholar but admitted to dropping her home in his private car.

At the same time, the court faulted the bank for not availing the scholar to testify in court and failing to have her cross examined by Ngochi at the disciplinary hearing.

The bank had concluded that that the allegations were likely to be true based on the incidences and contradictions of the claims.     

Justice Ongaya further noted discrepancies in the dates the incident allegedly happened according to the testimonies of both Ngochi and the scholar.           

“On a balance of probability and the scholar having not testified and in light of the cited discrepancies, the court finds that the respondent has failed to establish that the claimant sexually assaulted the scholar as alleged,” said Ongaya in his 12-page ruling.     

He therefore declared that the termination of Ngochi’s employment was unfair and directed Equity Bank to pay 25 percent of his suit costs.

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