KEMRI ordered to compensate six former employees

By Halligan Agade

The six claimed their work was plagiarized and offered to researchers in the developed world

Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) will have to pay six of its former employees shs5 million each for wrongful dismissal.

This follows a court order by the Industrial Court in Nairobi after the five moved to sue following their sacking under controversial circumstances three years ago.

The six claimed that their work was plagiarized and offered to researchers in the developed world.

They also cited discrimination in remuneration in comparison to foreign colleagues with equivalent qualifications on the programme.

Justice Nduma Nderi in his verdict ordered KEMRI to compensate the six Doctors including Samson Gwer, Michael Mwaniki, Nahashon Thuo, John Wagai, Moses Ndiritu and Albert Komba.

They were also awarded for denial of intellectual property rights.

The employees had sued KEMRI, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, the Attorney General and Union of Research and Allied Institute over unequal training opportunities.

The six doctors were aggrieved that their treatment at KEMRI was unacceptable and likened it to “modern day slavery”, alleging that they were passed over for promotion, training opportunities and grants while their white colleagues flourished.

They claimed that the criteria for funding of projects at the institution was only open to individuals with a relevant connection to the European Economic Area (EEA) that led to racial discrimination, scientific research misconduct, and intellectual property rights and career blockade.

The six were suspended in 2010 after raising a red flag. However KEMRI had submitted that the complaints from the six were dealt with in accordance with institutional employment policies.