Court reinstates suspended Ketraco manager Anthony Wamukota

Anthony Wamukota.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Ltd general manager in charge of design and construction Anthony Wamukota.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A judge has lifted a decision of the board of directors of Kenya Electricity Transmission Ltd (Ketraco) suspending general manager Anthony Wamukota, pending the determination of the petition he has filed.

Engineer Wamukota, the general manager in charge of design and construction was suspended on November 15 for one year by the board following a recommendation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The suspension was made by the board to pave the way for investigations into the Loiyangalani-Suswa Transmission Interconnection (II) line Project.

Employment and Labour Relations court judge Byram Ongaya granted Mr Wamukota temporary orders, suspending the directive pending the determination of his case.

“Pending the hearing and the determination of the petition, an order is issued suspending the petitioner herein,” the judge said as he suspended the board of directors’ letter.

Mr Wamukota challenged his suspension arguing that it was tainted with illegality, malicious and choreographed to defeat the ends of justice, having obtained orders from the High Court barring the anti-graft body from arresting, arraigning or prosecuting him over the project.

“The honourable court be pleased to make an order directing the 1st Respondent (Ketraco) to unconditionally lift the suspension of the Applicant/Petitioner from employment and order for his immediate reinstatement pending the inter parties hearing and determination of this application and Petition,” he submitted.

The judge stated that the suspension appears to predetermine the case pending before the High Court.

He further said whereas the board is entitled to suspend Mr Wamukota independent of EACC recommendation, it can only do so by invoking its human resource manual and the terms of the contract signed by the parties.

Mr Wamukota argued that Ketraco’s board of directors decided in a special general meeting, allegedly under the express directions of EACC, to suspend him for one year.

He said there was no complaint or allegation against him and EACC usurped the powers of the board to suspend him irregularly, unfairly and without foundation or basis.

Mr Wamukota said he is apprehensive that the decision was predetermined with plans to lock him out and defeat his case.

He says he was never given an opportunity to be heard and the decision of his suspension was only communicated to him through email while he was attending an engineering conference in Mombasa.

Mr Wamukota said EACC is circumventing the orders of the court through the recommendation to the board to suspend him without any justifiable cause “and in a very draconian manner and is now prosecuting the case before the Board of the 1st Respondent in contravention of the said Court Orders”.