Court orders Nyagarama to reinstate sacked staff

Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama before the Senate's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on February 20, 2020. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Through Ochoki & Co Advocates, the employees moved to court last week under the certificate of urgency seeking to halt their suspension from the payroll.

  • The petitioners are represented by Mr Andrew Ochengo, Boaz Momanyi, Herbert Nyamwange and Ms Evelyne Mang’aa.

Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama has suffered a major blow after the Labour Court ruled in favour of 634 employees he sacked last year, ordering their continued stay in office.

Justice Mathews Nduma of the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu issued interim orders restraining the governor, his deputy and the county government from removing the 634 employees from the county payroll, pending the hearing and determination of the petition.

“This court hereby grants an interim conservatory order to protect, preserve and conserve the status of the 634 petitioners as the senior support staff and enforcement officers, County Government of Nyamira and in particular, barring the respondents jointly and severally from commencing or undertaking any disciplinary action against the petitioners without due process of the law,” said Justice Nduma.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu electronically further ordered that 160 employees who have not yet be reinstated in the payroll be recalled and their arrears paid in full.

“The respondents is hereby ordered to provide the petitioner and file in court certified copies of all the advertisements for the post of support staff and related cadres, evaluation report of the interview conducted, letter of regret to unsuccessful candidates, evidence of the final results and outcome of the interviews as advertised resolutions on the creation of the posts, appointment letters and any other documents and memoranda relied upon in the decision to remove the aforesaid staff from the county payroll,” ordered Justice Nduma.

Through Ochoki & Co Advocates, the employees moved to court last week under the certificate of urgency seeking to halt their suspension from the payroll.

The petitioners are represented by Mr Andrew Ochengo, Boaz Momanyi, Herbert Nyamwange and Ms Evelyne Mang’aa.

Besides the governor, other respondents are his deputy Amos Nyaribo, County government of Nyamira, County Executive for Public Service Management, County Secretary, Chairperson and Secretary of the County Public Service Board.

“The petitioners bring this petition in their own capacity and the employees of the first respondent (Nyamira County government) and contests the administrative actions of the respondents to suspend from the payroll and commencing disciplinary actions without following due process of the law,” read in part the affidavit they filed in court.

Following a payroll clean-up, about 874 employees were removed from the workforce.

The petitioners further said on diverse datesin pursuit of their right of to access information, wrote to their respective departments seeking information relating to the payroll cleaning process, reason for their salaries stoppage and eventual house resolution on the suspension from the payroll but did not get any response.

The petitioners said they were employed in a fair process and in this regard, the first respondent (Nyamira County Government), who by law is the paymaster, would not suffer any irreparable loss.

On July, 2019, 240 Employees who also faced the sack were re-admitted to the payroll, but the rest were left out and no communication was made to that effect.

“That the suspension of 634 employees was in violation of the constitution and infringed on the rights of the employees and residents of Nyamira County, by committing funds to Payroll Clean-up that would otherwise be used to provide services to the people of Nyamira. The petitioners further find that the respondents unlawfully committed Public Funds of the County Government of Nyamira in violation of the Constitution and the Section 162(2)(b) of Public Finance Management Act,” read the affidavit in part.

Governor Nyagarama had said there will be no reprieve for the irregularly employed staff and vowed to prosecute those responsible.

The county chief said he will not spare anyone in his government who participated in the employment scam already being investigated.

He said he will not relent in the fight against ills which were rocking his government.

“All those who were involved in illegally listing of more than 1,000 people in the county payroll have already been identified and an investigation on their involvement is being finalised,” he said.

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