Vetting of three new county executives is now uncertain due to non-payment of Sh50.6 million to previous office holders.
The Labour Court issued orders stopping the County Assembly from vetting the candidates today, pending the determination of an application seeking to compel the Governor Ali Roba-led county to fully pay the sums.
The assembly planned to vet the three candidates poised to replace Abdiazizi Maad (Trade), Shamsa Haji (Gender) and Johora Abdi (Agriculture), who was sacked in February.
The court had, however, ordered that the positions can only be filled if the sacked trio are paid for the remaining years they were to work if the county failed to reinstate them.
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On Monday, Judge Hellen Wasilwa ordered that the application be served on the governor, County Assembly and the public service board by September 24 when the matter will be heard before Justice Onesmus Makau.
The sacked employees moved to court saying Roba and his government had failed to honour court orders directing they be paid the money as full salaries for the remaining period they were to work plus gratuity for the years already served.
They were to be paid the full amount by July 29 but from a letter filed in court, the county opted to pay them for damages instead of reinstating them and remitted only Sh18.4 million, arguing that it owed them Sh30.2 million and not Sh50.6 million.
“The petitioners had been paid gratuity to the County Pensions Fund (CPF) and that the CPF will release the amount after individual clearance,” reads part of the documents.
The court had on April 29 stopped the county from replacing the officers hired in 2018 on a five-year contract until and when it pays them their dues in full.
Justice Makau issued the orders on the grounds that the officers’ right to administrative action and fair labour practices were violated by the Mandera governor.
“I established from the evidence by the petitioners that their dismissal was unlawful because it was done arbitrarily, without any justification, and without following the due process,” the judge said.
In the case, the governor said he sacked them due to public interest because they had lost public confidence.
The petitioners, however, claimed the governor terminated their services without any justification, and in a manner that was disrespectful and degrading.