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Court throws out attempts to reinstate suspended Maseno principal over bullying

By Harold Odhiambo | March 20th 2017

KISUMU, KENYA: An attempt by the Maseno National School Old Boys Association to stop a teacher from replacing the School's suspended Principle, Paul Otula, has been dismissed by a Kisumu law court.

Otula was last week sent on a 30-day forced leave by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to pave way for investigations over alleged bullying and sexual molestation at the school.  The TSC  Chief  Executive Officer, Nancy Macharia appointed  Homa bay High  School Principal  Andrew  Buop to replace him.

But the Old Boys Association opposed the move and rushed to file an injunction in court seeking to bar Mr Buop from taking over the office.

On Monday, the Labor and Relations court threw out an application filed by the association seeking to bar Buop from taking over at the helm of the institution after the defense lawyers failed to prove their case.

Justice Maureen Onyango dismissed the application and directed the defense lawyers representing the Old Boy's to serve (TSC) with the application after it emerged that only the Attorney General Mr Githu Muigai had been served but failed to appear in court.

She noted that TSC is not aware if there is a suit challenging its decision to take disciplinary actions against Otula.

The application will be heard afresh on Thursday March 23 upon filing.

The defense lawyer James Mwamu had argued that the right person who could have been appointed by the ministry to head the school on an acting capacity could have been Otula's deputy.

He accused education officials of unfairly treating Otula despite the ministry not having any primary report on the investigations that warranted the move by the commission.

"My client was ejected by TSC which was accompanied by four administrative police officers," said Mwamu.

"At the same time another person had been posted in his place yet there are two able deputies that could hold briefly as investigations continue," he added.

Mwamu told the court that stakeholders including parents were concerned about the changes made by TSC at the institution.

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