Access to Justice / Success StoriesNovember 11, 20190 CommentsKituo Cha Sheria


Ms. Everlyne Agutu (in red dress) at Kituo Head Office after the mediation agreement was signed.

The story of Everlyne Agutu reads like that of any other middle-aged domestic work woman living in Nairobi’s informal settlements. She contributes to the country’s economy performing menial jobs to fend for her family of five; doing laundry, landscaping and other household jobs in city estates neighbouring her Kawangware home. This was the routine for the five years Ms. Agutu lived and worked in Nairobi until January 2008 when she entered into an oral contract of service with a gentleman to work in his Lavington residence. Based on the oral contract; the house help salary of Ksh. 4,000 was a major milestone for Ms. Agutu.

She was comfortable with the certainty of monthly income and diligently performed all tasks expected of her with utmost loyalty. Testament to the dedication of most Nairobi domestic workers; working conditions not withstanding; Ms. Agutu went about her work without fuss and her monthly salary was progressively revised upwards, first to Ksh. 7,000 and up to Ksh. 13,000 in 2013. This source of income was regular, predictable and good enough to sustain Ms. Agutu and her family for all these years.

The domestic work sector in the Kenyan economy is not properly regulated yet it plays a key role in economic growth and development, and is a major source of employment in urban and peri-urban areas. Domestic workers perform a range of services and tasks including cooking, cleaning, laundry, child care, elderly care and others as assigned. But despite performing these essential services for the well-being of families and the smooth functioning of the national economy, they have long been ignored in labour legislation and social policy.

Kituo Cha Sheria is dedicated to the welfare of persons like Ms. Agutu and we recognize that the law on domestic staff is clear, and simple! Yet the breaches of it are abundant. After working for over 11 years in one household, Ms. Agutu was unlawfully terminated on 16th June 2019. Sadly, in Kenya this is the fate of a majority of domestic workers especially in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa- employers  quote all manner of reasons for unfair termination- including poor performance, misconduct, petty theft, etc.

Luckily Ms. Agutu was aware of an organization that exists to take care for justice for the poor and marginalized people in society- she approached Kituo Cha Sheria for legal advice and possible instructions in August 2019. Our legal officer Odero Ramdhan took up the matter and computed terminal dues for Ms. Agutu for the 11 years and 7 months she had worked; the employer was served with the demand for the same.

On 7th November, 2019 Everlyne Agutu and her former employer entered into an agreement on the mode of payment of her full terminal dues in monthly installments. This matter was resolved without recourse to the legal system- through negotiation and all parties were satisfied with the outcome. Ms. Agutu is back to working menial jobs but with the satisfaction that her labour rights were not violated thanks to Kituo cha Sheria.

Kituo remains committed to helping the disadvantaged, poor and marginalized people in Kenya access justice. We will continue to empower the poor and the marginalized communities and peoples on their human rights and to create avenues for these individuals to effectively access and enjoy these fundamental entitlements.



Kituo Cha Sheria

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