Court stops hiring of workers in Murang'a

Muranga County Assembly members during a past debate.

Photo credit: File

The High Court in Murang’a has stopped the county government from hiring 222 people after a resident sued, arguing the process was unprocedural.

The county assembly was also on Wednesday barred from debating a recommendation by the Public Service Board to hire them.

In a letter from lawyers to the assembly clerk, the assembly and the board were informed that debating the matter would amount to contempt of court.

Resident Apollo Kiiru Mukururo wants the county government to be barred from recruiting new staff in its final days.

He cites corruption, nepotism and favouritism, claiming that some people in the county executive want to make money by selling recruitment letters.

“It has come to our client’s attention that you intend to debate and discuss issues concerning hiring of new staff. Be informed that this matter is now active in court vide Murang’a High Court JR No. E008 of 2022…and current status is that it comes up for inter-partes hearing on June 8, 2022,” the hand-delivered letter reads.

It warned that “in accordance with the relevant provisions of your standing orders and other relevant laws, it is illegal to debate a matter that is live before court of law … if you proceed, we shall file contempt of court proceedings against every person violating these legal provisions”.

Nation.Africa has seen filed allegations that applicants for the vacancies were being asked to part with as much as Sh500,000 in bribes. After allegedly striking deals behind the scenes, some individuals referred the candidates to the county assembly’s Labour Committee for approval though there had been no notification of shortlisted candidates per the law.

Some of the referred successful candidates were allegedly drivers of county government vehicles that have been branded with the political messages of a senior politician.

The county government had advertised the vacancies and interested parties had until May 4 to apply.

The vacancies included two member positions on the Public Service Board, an equal number of Municipal Board members, a deputy county secretary and a treasurer.

The county also wanted to hire 75 early childhood development education teachers, 50 askaris, 35 ward administrators and 15 drivers, with all the positions falling between job groups H and R.

Senator Irungu Kang’ata said he was aware of the conflict and the resulting court case, saying “mine is just to remain vigilant and warn the county assembly and the process of coming up with a list of the successful candidates that due process must apply to the letter”.

He said that “if people are employed and later annulled by the court, or are later deemed to have been unnecessary baggage, it means we will subject the taxpayer to monetary losses as we move in to correct the mess either through severance of contracts or compensations and litigation fees”.

Assembly Clerk Mr Kuria Thuita confirmed receiving the letter, saying it would be authenticated and acted on depending on its merit.

But the Nation learnt that the debate had been suspended to a later date.

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