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Union wants Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia charged for contempt of court

By Ally Jamah | June 23rd 2015

The Union of Civil Servants of Kenya (UCSK) wants Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and other top ministry officials jailed for six months for contempt of court

The union is seeking court orders to have Macharia be cited for contempt for allegedly ignoring a court order issued last month stopping the transfer of some nurses.

Also facing the same situation is Health Principal Secretary Khadijah Kasachoon and the Registrar of the Nursing Council of Kenya Edna Talam; who are cited as the second and third respondents respectively.

Through Nchoe, Jaoko and Co Advocates, the union claims that the top officials of the Health ministry have ignored the court order granted on May 26 by Justice Nzioki wa Makau stopping the transfer of eight nurses from the Nursing Council to various other institutions within the ministry.

The council is the Government’s regulatory body for nurses.

The union argues that Macharia and the other respondents were properly served with the court orders but chose to ignore them with impunity.

“The officials should be cited for contempt of valid court orders and be committed to civil jail for a period of 6 months or such period as deemed just and sufficient by the court,” reads the application filed in court on Friday.

It added: “This court should impose a mandatory penalty to be paid by the CS and the two other respondents.” Attorney General Githu Muigai is cited as the fourth respondent.

The union also wants the court to compel Macharia and the other officials to comply with the previous order. The court had ordered that pending the hearing and determination of a UCSK application inter-partes, the transfer and posting of the nurses should not be done.

The transfer and posting order from the ministry was dated March 20 while the release orders were issued on March 30.

“Court orders must be obeyed. The CS, PS and Registrar have disobeyed the orders of this honourable court and is therefore nurturing the seeds of impunity and disrespect towards the court, hence deserves punishment,” said the application by the union.

It added: “Should they be allowed to comfortably continue to disobey orders as they have done so far, any subsequent court orders to be issued by this court will be a nullity.” The matter is slated for mention on July 15 at the Employment and Labour Court.

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