Court fines Safaricom Ksh6 million for failing to hire a blind man

Safaricom headquarters
Safaricom headquarters. [Photo: Techweez]

Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom PLC has been ordered to pay Ksh6 million as compensation for failing to hire a blind man who petitioned the court.

The petitioner Wilson Macharia told Justice James Makau that Safaricom failed to hire him as a customer care executive because it lacked specialized software to help him with his work.

Macharia sued the firm for violating his rights and discrimination.

In his ruling, Business Daily reports, Justice Makau ruled that the Safaricom breached Macharia’s rights and failed to treat him with dignity by denying him an opportunity despite interviewing and inviting him to sign an employment contract.

In its defense, Safaricom told the court that it did not discriminate against Macharia because it allowed him to be interviewed for the job.

Further, Safaricom said that the lack of specialized software would make it difficult for Macharia to work at the company.

Macharia said his request to use his personal laptop was rejected by Safaricom, citing safety reasons and the need to protect data and information from calls, SMS, and M-Pesa transactions in line with the data protection laws.

Justice Makau, in his ruling, pronounced that, “I find that the Respondent’s (Safaricom’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.”

Macharia is an ICT graduate .