Embassy staff cry foul over dismissal
Posted Sunday, July 22 2012 at 23:30
Kenyan staff at the Venezuela embassy residence in Nairobi have complained to Diplomatic Police Unit over alleged dismissal by the new envoy.
The employees have complained that Ms Olga Fonseca fired them after they refused to retract sexual harassment claims against former ambassador Gerarto da Silva.
“She came and forced us to apologise and say the claims that the former consular of Venezuela embassy, who was accused of sexual harassment of the staff, were all lies, and that we write an apology that we fabricated the story,” the staff say in the complaint seen by the Nation.
The employees who have signed the complaints are Kevin Akodhe, Leonida Khatenje, Angelina Mwelewe, Zipporah Khabukwi and Francis Mwangi. They say that Ms Fonseca took the action last Tuesday but they have stayed put.
The sexual harassment claims have attracted the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which after learning of the issue earlier this month, wrote to the employees’ lawyer, Mr Ngure Mbugua, saying that they were launching “independent investigations.”
Two male employees had on April 23, through a complaint booked at Gigiri Diplomatic Police Unit and referenced as number 34, accused the former envoy of sexual impropriety.
Talking to the Nation at the envoy’s Runda residence at the weekend, the staff said Ms Fonseca, who arrived last week, had told them to vacate the premises.
On Saturday, Mr Mbugua wrote to Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama, who is the landlord, accusing him of harassing his clients.
Efforts to reach Ms Fonseca were futile as she was said not to be in her residence or office.
Mr Muthama also did not pick up our calls.