Governor Nyangarama Faces A Horde Of Lawsuits

Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama (Pictured) is battling a series of court cases touching on various labour issues in the county government.

Most of the cases, however, involve some of the staff he suspended, sacked or appointed.

According to the Daily Nation, his deputy Amos Nyaribo has been a petitioner in some.

The latest case was filed this week at the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu before Justice Mathews Nderi Nduma.

The court on Thursday issued an injunction stopping the recruitment of Finance and Economic Planning chief officer.

Nyamira resident Vincent Omae moved to court saying that an advert for the position was improperly done.

Mr Omae said that by restricting applications to those whose academic qualifications match or are relevant to the department, was not only discriminatory, mischievous, informed by ulterior motives but also meant to lock out competent persons capable of discharging their duties even though they may not have specific qualifications relevant to the department.

“The status quo be and is hereby maintained for the current county chief officer to stay in office beyond March 23, 2020, until such a time when the respondents will do a proper advertisement and to commence and conclude recruitment of its successor and or the board give any other decision in line with applicable law,” said Justice Nduma.

He added: “Pending the hearing and determination of this application inter-partes, the respondents herein, either by themselves, agents and servants be and are hereby restrained by a temporary order of injunction from advertising or recruiting any person to the position of county chief officer, Finance and Planning.”

In yet another case two weeks ago, Mr Omae moved to court challenging the validity of Nyamira executive continued stay in office, five months after Governor Nyagarama declared their posts vacant.

The petitioner said there was no extension of contracts for the current executive hence their continued stay in office was illegal.

“They handed over but remained in office. It is five months since the Public Service Board advertised the vacancies,” he said Mr Omae before the labour court in Kisumu.

Mr Nyagarama, the county government of Nyamira, county secretary, county public service board and its secretary and the io executives are respondents in the case.

Mr Nyagarama last year declined to extend contracts for his executives as well as that of the county secretary.

With only two months left to the end of their two-year contracts, he fired his entire cabinet when he placed an advert seeking new nominees.

The county placed an advert in one of the local dailies calling on applicants to consider any of the 10 positions for a three-year contract.

The governor recently nominated Mr James Okwemwa Ntabo to the position of County Secretary after months of speculation.

Mr Okemwa has already been vetted.

In a letter addressed to Speaker Moffat Teya, the governor expressed his confidence in the nominee stating that he was qualified and experienced.

Mr Okemwa has since taken over from Mr Eric Onchana, whose contract expired in November last year alongside that of CECs.

Late last year, about 600 employees who Mr Nyagarama sacked, moved to the Employment and Labour Relations Court under certificate of urgency seeking to halt their suspension from the payroll.

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

On July, 2019, 24o 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.

According to an affidavit, 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.

Mid last year, Governor John Nyagarama got a reprieve after court ruled in his favour in a case where his deputy had sued over a pre-election deal that would have seen the two share the government on a 50-5o basis. T The case greatly affected the relationship between the two besides hampering service delivery.

However, the labour court in Kisumu dismissed with costs the miscellaneous application that sought to restrain Mr Nyagarama from committing a breach of the coalition deal saying it lacked merit.

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