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How househelp stole Sh500,000 jewellery, tried to cover her tracks

Caroline Nabwire told police she sold her employer's jewellery at throwaway prices

Caroline Nabwire at the Kibera law courts

Caroline Nabwire, a house help who worked in Parklands area, Nairobi, was arraigned in court over the theft of jewellery worth Sh573,411 from her employer Ventrapragada Nikhil.

Nabwire pleaded guilty to the charges of stealing the jewellery between January 31 and February 28, 2022.

She told the court that she sold the stolen jewellery at throwaway prices to agents in Nairobi.

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The items, which Nabwire's employer utilized for religious worship, were discovered missing on March 1 after Nikhil’s wife sought to retrieve them.

Only the couple and their maid had access to the jewellery, which was stored in safes. They searched their residence and discovered more jewellery had gone missing, including bangles and rings.

In a bid to cover her tracks, it would later be discovered that Caroline had replaced some of the items with counterfeit pieces.

The theft was reported at Parklands Police Station where Nabwire was later held in custody and, in a statement, admitted to selling the pieces to city traders. The police's attempts to track down the merchants and reclaim the things were futile.

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After pleading guilty to the charges before Senior Resident Magistrate Renee Kitangwa of the Kibera Law Courts, sentencing was scheduled for Wednesday, March 9.

It is illegal to just wake up one day and dismiss your house help without giving them a one-month notice of termination of their employment.

This followed an Employment and Labour Relations ruling by Justice Nduma Nderi, in a suit where a house help challenged the termination of her employment after asking for a salary increment.

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Moreen Muhani had sued her employer Namuben Manji Bhinji for ending her contract without cause. She won the case and was granted damages worth Sh270,964 for the unfair termination of her contract.

Muhani claimed that she was employed by Bhinji as a house girl in February 2015 with a monthly salary of Ksh3,000. Two years later, she approached her employer on December 30, 2016, and requested a salary increment but Bhinji got annoyed, terminated the contract and sent her away the next day.

According to the judge, the law requires that an employer give notice to a house help prior to terminating their contract, and includes paying them terminal benefits and giving them a certificate of service.

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