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- Dr Ottichilo said he fired them in compliance with a resolution of the county assembly, which indicted the four for incompetence, abuse of office, gross misconduct and violation of the Constitution.
Four Vihiga CECs who were dismissed by Governor Wilber Ottichilo on Tuesday following their impeachment by the County Assembly last week received a reprieve after the High Court stayed their dismissal from office.
The order by Justice Farah Amin came moments after Dr Ottichilo had acted on the resolution by the Assembly to impeach the four and sacked them.
The four are Pamela Kimwele (Public Service), Amos Kutwa (Health), Paul Mbuni (Lands) and Kenneth Keseko (Trade).
They moved to court contesting the impeachment which led to their sacking. They sued the Assembly and listed Governor Ottichilo as an interested party.
On Tuesday afternoon, at a rushed presser outside the governor's Mbale office, Dr Ottichilo said he fired them after they were indicted for incompetence, abuse of office, gross misconduct and violation of the Constitution.
"Following the resolution of the county assembly of Vihiga, approving the report of the select committee to have four of my CEC members dismissed, I have complied and immediately effected the dismissals," he said, noting that he had invoked Section 31(b) as read together with Sections 40(a), (b), (c) and (d) and (5b) and 6(a) and (b) of the County Government Act as amended by the County Government Act, 2020.
Following their sacking, the county boss immediately filled the four positions with people who will serve in an acting capacity to enable seamless county government operations.
Ms Kimwele’s post was handed to Ms Amalemba, who is also the Water CEC, while Dr Kutwa's health docket will be run by Prof Inonda Mwanje. The Lands department that was under Mr Mbuni is now under Mr Henry Lumbasio, while the Trade docket that was under Eng Keseko was handed to Mr Geoffrey Vukaya.
But Justice Amin ordered that any impeachment proceedings before the court and or the Employment and Labour Relations Court are stayed pending hearing of the petition.
"Any steps taken in pursuing an outcome in these impeachment proceedings is an improper charge in the public poise and the officials involved therein shall be personally liable for the costs incurred,” he said in reference to their dismissal.