Ex-Stanchart employee sues for abuse

FORMER Standard Chartered Bank head of legal and compliance Celine Nair has sued her former employers in the Lusaka Industrial Court for abuse which led to her resignation.

Ms Nair who was also company secretary, implicated her former chief executive officer  and managing director  Mr Andrew Okafi for having orchestrated the abuse which she allegedly suffered for 20 months.

In  her affidavit in support of notice of complaint in the Industrial Relations Court,  she says that she resigned from her position on July 28, because of the abusive words she was subjected to by her boss  Mr Okai.

She disclosed that from the time Mr Okafi joined the Bamk as CEO and MD on October 1, 2013 he allegedly made it very clear to her that he would not work with her based on information he claimed he received from members of the executive committee about her.

Ms Nair disclosed that from the time she joined the Bank for over nine years she was working very hard to ensure that the legal and company secretarial functions continued to deliver as it always had.

She said in April 2014, a team builder Ms Veronica Moroe visited Zambia to have sessions with employees to open up and pour out their frustrations and irritations about the new MD in a confidential environment.

Ms Nair added that despite not saying a single thing about Mr Okai in the open meeting, he attributed all the negative things that were said about him by executive committee to her.

She claimed that whenever the legal department needed something to be signed, she was accused of trying to set, frame and defraud him.

Ms Nair said her working environment had become so hostile and painful to her because of the accusations of attempted fraud and mistrust which Mr Okai had allegedly engendered in the working relationship with herself and other legal teams.

She also claims that due to the hostile and stressful work environment she lost her 10 weeks pregnancy and when she returned to work a week later, Mr Okafi welcomed her and commented that it was a pity that the baby had died instead of her.

She alleged that Mr Okafi went on and said if she still wanted her job she should be ready to knock off around 22:00 hours every day, adding that she was married to a useless man who cared less about her.

In response the company’s human resource manager Ruth Simuyemba argued that Ms Nair resigned from her employment based on remuneration issues adding that that it was not the first time Ms Nair resigned from her position as she was proned to emotional outbursts.

Ms Simuyemba indicated that Ms Nair used her resignation as a negotiating tactic as Mr Okafi had never mistreated her in any way adding that when she was seeking for a promotion from grade five to band four which the promotion promised substantial benefits it was Mr Okafi who personally lobbied for her promotion.

She also said that it was not true that Mr Okafi did not want to work with her and treated her in any way different from other employees.

Ms Simuyemba said that it was not true that Ms Nair raised any issues about Mr Okai attributing the negative things allegedly said about him to Veronica Monroe nor did she raise a complaint about Mr Okafi interfering with Ms Nair.