By Lorna Abuga
Does the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) have internal structures through which errant employees can be disciplined?
Well, that is the question that the company was supposed to answer in a Nakuru court earlier on this week when it claimed two of its employees had stolen a fencing post worth sh300.
The court was told that the two employees – Wesley Tandi and James Kamau – had committed the crime on September 8 this year.
“None of them had been granted permission to take the fencing post which was still in use but instead the duo took advantage for their accessibility to the company’s property by stealing the fencing post,” the prosecution told Chief Magistrate Joel Ng’eno.
In response the magistrate said that he did not a understand why such a big company would sue its employees over a fencing post that is worth sh300.
“This matter can be handled by the complainant because it has the mandate to discipline workers by not necessary bringing them to court,” said Ng’eno.
“Surely by bringing this two people here you are misusing the court,”
he concluded after the prosecution had presented its evidence.
The two denied and were released on a bond of sh500 each. The case will be heard on October 21.
In the same court Magistrate Ng’eno ordered the prosecution to return a sack of maize that had been presented as exhibit to its rightful owner. This is after the court charged a middle aged man with the theft.
The court was told that on September 14 this year at Bondeni area within Nakuru county Francis Mwangi stole 82 combs of green maize valued at sh1,640 from his neighbor Ndai Kabachia.
The prosecutor told the court that the accused person was arrested by the complainant at his farm with the stolen maize in a sack which had already harvested from the farm.
The accused pleaded guilty and was fined the sh1,000 with an alternative of serving 3 months in prison as the Magistrate cautioned him against stealing.
“I will not allow you to enjoy other people’s sweat,” Ng’eno cautioned.
It will be noted that Chief Justice Willy Mutunga once asked Kenyans not to be taking every matter to court as that amounts to increasing the workload unnecessarily.
For instance, in the above two offenses, which are in themselves petty in nature, it was not a must to involve the court. Both could even have been solved through the arbitration of arbitrators such as Chiefs.
If we are to improve the state of the delivery of justice it will be important to realize that other courts, there are many more other avenues of justice.