The Nakuru County government has reinstated the 115 employees whom it had sent on compulsory leave last month in a bid to pave way for investigations on corruption allegations in the previous government.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui had sent the employees on a one month compulsory leave in what he said would assist in ridding the County Executive of corrupt cartels and irregularly recruited staff.
Following the decision, the employees, among them six senior county officials proceeded to court where they filed a petition against the governor’s directive which they termed as improper.
“The petitioners were sent on compulsory leave without jurisdiction and none of them was ever notified of any complaints or allegations against them that could trigger such drastic action,” read part of the employees’ affidavit.
Labour Court Judge Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa last week allowed the petition and suspended the governor’s decision until the petition is heard and determined.
In an interview with The Standard, Nakuru County Secretary Benjamin Njoroge said that the County Government had complied with the court order and called back the officials to their respective workstations.
“We have respected the decision made by the court and called back all the officials who had been sent on a compulsory leave. All activities in the affected docket are now running smoothly,” said Njoroge.
Finance Director Wilson Mungai, Procurement Director Eliezar Ngarari, Head of Accounts Dan Odundo, Head of Enforcement Joseph Kiara and his Deputy Charles Nyanaro were among the senior officials.
All the sub-county and ward administrators and their deputies were also not spared.
A crosscheck with the affected offices revealed that most of them had reported back to their workstations on different days this week.
One of the officials who sought anonymity said that the county government had picked a replacement for the docket she held without notifying her until she found out herself when she reported back.
“I reported back to work on Tuesday but I found new people had been assigned my job. My name which had been fixed on the office door had also been removed,” said the official.
The County Secretary dismissed the allegations that they had replaced the workers.
“We have not replaced or stopped anyone from accessing their offices. No one has come to complain to me yet on such allegations,” said Njoroge.
Sending home of the senior officials especially the procurement and finance dockets had crippled a number of county operations that required the approval of the directors who were not in office for over three weeks.
In a replying affidavit the governor defended his move saying that by sending the employees on a compulsory leave was not equal to firing them.
The county government denied issuing show cause letters to the employees.
The governor said that he had nothing negative against the 115 as upon completion of the investigations there were possibilities of them being recalled back.
The employees claimed the order was in bad faith and meant a termination of their contracts.
The employees sought court orders to stop the county government from advertising their positions until
Highlighting of submissions will be done on October 12, 2017.