A Kenya Air Force officer who was sacked and jailed due to his religious beliefs and practices has sued the government for compensation.
Mr Polycarp Miyogo Nyakora claims that he was fired from the Kenya Defence Force and jailed for 42 days for attending a church service on a Saturday after his boss refused to grant him permission.
Mr Nyakora said he is a staunch Seventh Day Adventist. According to him, he had asked his boss for permission to attend church service in 2012 but the request was declined.
“I was born and brought up in an SDA family and my faith is drawn exclusively from the Bible,” said Mr Nyakora. He said after his request was declined, he approached a warrant officer who promised to sort out the issue with his boss.
When he returned in the evening, he discovered that the warrant officer had not been successful in persuading the boss, forcing him to seek the intervention of the senior air traffic control officer, who referred him back to his boss.
“I made efforts to have an officer replace me while I was away but my boss refused, even after a colleague had agreed to stand in for me,” said Mr Nyakora.
But being a strong believer and an elder in the church, he decided to defy the orders and attended the service.
He said on June 13, 2012, he was forced to do manual punishment. Cash for six days was deducted from his salary.
On June 14, 2012, he again asked for permission to go to church but it was not granted. Once again, he defied the orders.
On August 1, 2012, the commanding officer read fresh charges against him for failing to report for duty and sentenced him to 42 days in prison.