Blow to Renowned Pastor Seeking Ksh85 Million Compensation

Labour and Relations Court Judge David Marete at the Supreme Court of Kenya on Thursday, April 15, 2021.
  • The High Court has dismissed a case by renowned clergyman, Rev. Richard Gitari, the presiding pastor of the Kenya Assemblies of God Church, Kirinyaga.

    Rev. Gitari was seeking a Ksh85 million compensation over what he termed as unfair termination. The clergyman told the court, sitting in Nyeri, that the church suspended him without a letter explaining his ejection from the church.

    He was seeking Ksh50 million compensation for unlawful termination, Ksh5 million in damages for lost earnings, and Ksh15 million as terminal benefits.

    The clergyman was also seeking Ksh2 million as damages incurred for harassment while being fired, another Ksh5 million as compensation of hospital bills incurred upon being terminated by the church.

    Labour and Relations Court Judge David Marete at the Supreme Court of Kenya on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

    Rev. Gitari wanted an additional Ksh1 million for damages arising from the denial of a hearing before the church management and an extra Ksh7 million in compensation for acquiring a plot and putting up a church at Kagio.

    He told the court that according to the KAG constitution, he should have served the church until he attained the prescribed retirement age of 70 years. 

    However, Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge, Njagi Marete, ruled that the pastor did not prove he was an employee of KAG church.

    Justice Marete stated that the pastor did not provide any signed contract to prove he was employed by the church and to determine the management acted against the contract.

    “The court cannot declare that there was a breach of the contract of employment because, in the first place. there is no proof of employment,†Justice Marete ruled.

    According to General Superintendent Philip Kitoto, Bishop Irungu and pastors Peter Mwangi and William Wachira, who were the respondents in the lawsuit, Rev. Gitari was invited for a meeting to discuss his suspension but refused to show up.

    Gitari told the court that on November 23, 2020, he was conducting a service at Kagio in Kirinyaga when Bishop Irungu interrupted him and requested a private discussion outside the church.

    He claimed that the bishop told him that he had been sent by the church’s chief superintendent to take over the church immediately.

    Undated image of Nyeri Law Court
    Undated image of Nyeri Law Court