Dancan Ouma Ojenge worked for P.N. Mashru Limited, a Mombasa-based transport firm as a spray painter until May 15, 2014, when the company terminated his contract under unlawful circumstances.
Allegedly, he had stolen a computer box belonging to his employer and paraded alongside three other workers. The general manager hired a witch doctor to determine the culprit by conducting a ritual. When he arrived, all the employees were asked in turns, to place their hands between a stick held by the witch doctor and the manager on the other hand.
If the witchdoctor declared the grip on the particular hand of an Employee, in between the sticks was strong, it was concluded the individual was guilty of stealing Respondent’s computer box.
Unfortunately, the grip of the witchdoctor’s sticks, on the hands of Ojenge, and on the hands of 3 other employees, was declared to be strong. They were then declared guilty.
The firm’s general manager proceeded to sack the employees based on the witch doctor’s verdict. This prompted protests from Mr. Ojenge who challenged the decision in court and raised questions as to why such a big firm would use unorthodox methods instead of taking legal action.
Years of court battles with his former employer finally paid off after the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of High Court judge James Rika to award Mr Ojenge Sh450,000 in the form of punitive damages.