Four Kenyan sailors who were mistakenly arrested and jailed for being members of Al-Shabaab group have been awarded Ksh 1.2 Million by a Mombasa court.
Captain Osielo Okoth Oking and his crew of Stephen Mulinge, Harry Randu and Juma Waziri Kingi set sail towards Kisimayu on October 24, 2016, and were supposed to ship goods back to Mombasa.
During their voyage to Mombasa, their vessel was short of fuel and developed a mechanical problem when the Marine police patrolling the Indian Ocean waters arrested them and escorted them to Kilifi Police Station.
They were remanded, arraigned and later freed after securing the bond.¬†
They, however, remained aboard the vessel for four months until February 20, 2017, when the case against them was terminated for lack of evidence.¬†
Upon returning to Mombasa port where they delivered the cargo, the owner of the vessel and the person who had contracted them refused to pay them.
The sailors then moved to the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Mombasa and sued the owners of MV Nasibu and Nasibu Fishing Company Ltd, based in Somalia, for compensation and damages. They asked for salary arrears from October 2016 to March 2017 and damages.¬†
In his judgment, Judge James Rika agreed with the sailors that they suffered injustice when the shipowner breached the terms of their contract.¬†
‚ÄúThe court has heard them and agrees that they are owed salary arrears by the respondent in the amount of $8,400 (Ksh840,000),‚ÄĚ he stated.
Judge Rika also awarded the claimants Ksh400,000 in general damages for breach of contract and ordered the respondent to pay the cost of the case.