The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Mombasa, Kenya, led by Justice Agnes Nzei, has ordered the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to reinstate Anthony Muhanji, a senior employee. The court concluded that Muhanji’s termination in 2021 was illegal, conducted in malice and not following due process. The judgement also stated that the KPA board was not legally equipped to dismiss Muhanji summarily over corruption allegations linked to overpaid contracts related to concrete barrier construction and Makongeni Goods Yard projects.
Muhanji was accused of contributing to an overpayment of Sh89.2 million in his role as the senior works officer at Port Grade HM2. He was then moved to a senior architect position, considered a demotion, before receiving a letter demanding an explanation for the overpayment allegations. These payments, reaching Sh277.3 million in total, were made to Ezgo Ltd, Grand Logistics Ltd, Salwa Kenya Ltd, and Haafa East Africa Ltd.
In his defense, Muhanji denied sanctioning the said overpayment and argued that the payments he had verified did not result in overpayment. He also contested his demotion from a senior works officer to a senior architect, asserting that his academic training is in engineering, not architecture.
The overpayment case led to a probe by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), causing KPA’s Managing Director, Daniel Manduku, to resign. Despite charges against Manduku, the DCI cleared Muhanji of any wrongdoing, a fact emphasized by Justice Nzei when she ruled the KPA’s actions against Muhanji as unjust.