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UK News

Christian charity Tearfund denies accusation of racial discrimination and bullying of former employee

by Marcus Jones

A former staff member of the international development charity Tearfund has taken the organisation to an employment tribunal claiming he suffered racial discrimination, bullying and unfair and wrongful dismissal.

Ildephonse Nzabahimana worked at the charity, which is based in south west London, for twelve years in various different positions before he was dismissed in 2019.

He claims he was taken through a capability process which led to his removal from post, but says the process was set up for him to fail.

His case is being heard by a judge at Croydon Employment Tribunal and is expected to conclude on Wednesday 16th December.

In a statement in response to the allegations, a spokesperson for the charity, said: "Tearfund strongly refutes all allegations of racial discrimination and unfair dismissal made in this case.  

"The individual concerned was dismissed after failing to achieve the level of performance required for their role despite being offered additional support and time to address the concerns raised with him over several months. 

"We will not be going into any further specific details about the case as the tribunal is ongoing.

"Tearfund does not tolerate any form of racial discrimination and this is made clear to all our staff and partners."

The case comes in a year in which Tearfund made a public commitment to tackling systemic racism in the workplace in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

This includes appointing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people onto its executive team and being bolder in speaking out against racism.

A statement on the issue on the charity's website states: "Even though we believe that every human being is made in the image of God, we have failed to live this out by creating a workplace where all can feel included. 

"We are committed to learning from the mistakes of the past, and will look at how our approaches and theology have contributed to racial injustice. We will change."

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