A blind man won KSh 6 million after Safaricom declined to hire him.
Knowing your rights is crucial if you want to survive in Kenya, although we tend to think that the Kenyan legal system is never favourable to the ordinary Kenyan, Mr Macharia’s case has proven that it can work.
It all started with an interview that Mr Macharia attended in August 2016, Safaricom was looking for someone to fill the customer experience executive position and they claimed that there would be no discrimination of any kind.
The interview process.
Since the advert was open to all people Macharia attended the interview along with other persons living with disabilities and Macharia was shortlisted after going through the oral interview and medical test. When Macharia was called to sign his contract he was informed by the network operator that the invite was mistaken.
Although Safaricom employed 11 other persons living with disabilities for the same role the network operator confirmed that the company lacked the specialized software to enable visually impaired persons to work. Justice James Makau riled in the plaintiff’s favour and stated that the company failed to treat Macharia with dignity.
So what should have Safaricom done?
In reality, the company should not have subjected Mr Macharia to attend the interviews and even sign the contract, when they did this they clearly gave him high hopes which obviously led to a humiliating process. The fact that they made him sign a contract that was later confirmed to have been a mistake which was belittling to say the least.
Justice Makau ruled and said:
“I find that the Respondent’s excuse to be an afterthought that was introduced late to the detriment of the Petitioner. The Respondent knew right from the beginning that the Petitioner’s work called for software, yet they took him through all recruitment steps,” Justice Makau ruled.”
The court, however, confirmed that Safaricom did not discriminate anyone as there was no proof that he was mistreated during the interview.