The Central Bank of Kenya has fired one of its employees over a series of political tweets on his timeline, touching off a social media onslaught by the victim.
Mr Harrison Mumia, who worked as a web administrator in the bank’s IT department based at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, took his frustrations with his employer to Twitter. Mumia is also the president of Atheist Society in Kenya, and some social media are interpreting his predicament as an act of God teaching him a lesson.
His lone cries appeared to land on deaf ears as CBK remained unmoved. Mr Mumia revealed through documents that he had been earlier suspended over Twitter postings touching on the the ruling party Jubilee politics, but was eventually fired after a committee constituted to look into his case returned a guilty verdict.
In the tweets under the hashtag #CBKFascism, he claimed that his termination was a witch-hunt by his bosses, more so human resources director Terry Ng’angia, adding that he would seeking legal recourse.
In the suspension letter which Mumia appealed against, he was accused of being a political partisan which was contrary to the CBK HR policy of political neutrality of its employees. “The bank’s attention has been drawn to your various postings in your twitter account @harrisonmumia in which you have made various postings with regard to certain events as specified here under,” Ms Ng’ang’a says in the suspension letter letter dated 20th February 2018.
“The issue of your statements has been the subject of past communication with the Bank…you were served with a Notice to Show Cause, why disciplinary action should not be taken against you.”
Some of the political tweets that landed Mumia in trouble include:
“I thought MP Alfred Keter was in Government. I thought yuko ndaani ndaani. Mbona anashikwa na his Government tena? As a Jubilee MP surely! Unless being in Government is a myth! To those who voted for Jubilee, Mko ndaani ya Government in what sense?”
“So Joshua Kuttuny is unhappy that Alfred Keter amewekwa ndani? But when Miguna is illegally deported, Kuttuny feels nothing? When David Ndii is illegally arrested, Kuttuny feels nothing? Orengo once said a bud Government eats its own people. Jubilee will fall soon!” read one tweet.
“Can Jubilee NEC make Uhuru resign like the ANC did for Zuma? Does Jubilee have a NEC. If it happened, that would be a relief for Kenyans. Right now any change from Uhuru is better than Uhuru Any!!” read another.
The Central Bank of Kenya has sacked me from employment based on TWEETS that appeared on my timeline last year in February.
— #CBKFascism #FreedomOfExpression (@harrisonmumia) January 21, 2019
His appeal was, however, rejected with the CBK terminating his employment on January 14, 2019.
“This is to inform you that the appeal committee carefully evaluated your case following your personal representation on this matter and observed that you did not raise any new grounds to warrant a variation of the earlier decision taken by the D&G committee during its meeting held on May 11th 2018.”
“Consequently, we find no justification to vary the decision to terminate your services and therefore the earlier decision still stands. Under the circumstances you are hereby expected to immediately commence the clearance process with the bank,” said the acting director of human resources Dennis Mukuu in the letter.
He has since edited his Twitter profile to EX-CBK, but vowed to move to court. “I have engaged a lawyer who will move to Court this week under a certificate of urgency, citing freedom of expression and unlawful dismissal. I will seek damages of Shs 33 Million based on wrongful dismissal. I will also petition Parliament to Censure the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Patrick Njoroge, the HR Director, Ms. Terry Ngaga for going against the spirit of the Building Bridges initiative,” he said