Kenyan Rugby Union ordered to pay former coaches for wrongful dismissal by Kenyan Courts

Kenyan Rugby Union ordered to pay former coaches for wrongful dismissal by Kenyan Courts

The High Court has ordered Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) to pay former Kenya Sevens deputy coach Vuyolwetu Zangqa and strength and conditioning trainer Graham Bentz Sh 11.11m for wrongful dismissal.

According to a decree and order issued by the deputy registrar employment and labour relations court in Nairobi on February 28, Bentz will be paid $72,600 (Sh7.26m while Zangqa $38,500 (Sh3.85m).

The two South African tacticians took the KRU alongside its chairman Richard Omwela and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Bukusi to court in October 2015 after they were dismissed.

The court then forwarded the case for Arbitration where Zangqa and Betz won the case on October 31, 2016, but Justice Nelson Abuodha adopted the Award on February 7, 2017 before the order was issued three weeks later.

The order indicated that the applicants will draw interest of 14 per cent per year from the date of Award until payments are made in full by the Union.

KRU will also pay 60 per cent of the cost of the Arbitration with Zangqa and Bentz taking care of the remaining 40 per cent. This area will draw an interest rate of 14 per cent per annum from the date of determination of the cost until payment in full.

“The court is pleased to receive and recognize the Arbitral Award made on 31st October, 2016,” said the order that directed the applicants to enforce the Arbitral Award. “The Arbitral Award made 31st October 2016 be deem as a Decree of this court.”

Zangqa and Bentz, who were to handle Kenya Sevens alongside their fellow countryman Paul Treu until after the 2016 Rio Olympics Games, were fired after a new technical bench headed by Benjamin Ayimba was appointed in September 2015. Treu had resigned in December 2014, only one year into his three-year contract with Kenya Sevens, leaving his fellow countrymen behind.

Ayimba, who replaced Felix “Toti” Ochieng, picked Paul Murunga as his deputy with Geoffrey Kimani as his strength and conditioning coach.

Zangqa and Bentz had a month before their dismissal faced a disciplinary committee on charges of going on strike with the players on July 2015.

“It’s good that justice has been served but I will be happy if that money is paid,” said Bentz adding that he will comment further if the payments come through.

Allan Onyango of Kibungei and Onyango Advocates represented Zangqa and Bentz.