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Court stops governor Barasa from kicking out service board

Western
 Embattled Kakamega County Public Service Board (CPSB) members with Governor Fernandes Barasa (fourth left) at a past function. [Courtesy]

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa has been stopped from sacking the County Public Service Board (CPSB).

The board went to the court to top the process after four out of its six members were impeached by the county assembly on December 14.

“It is hereby ordered that pending further directions, the court issues a temporary interdict stopping the replacement of the petitioner’s and or recruitment of new county public service board members to replace them,” Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Stephen Radido ruled.

He said he would give further instructions on January 25 during a pre-trial session of hearing.

Justice Radido directed Barasa, the county assembly, County Secretary, and Mr Dennis Muhanda who sponsored the impeachment petition, to file responses, including preliminary objections to both motion and petition, within 15 days of service.

Those impeached are chairperson Catherine Omweno and members Stanley Were, Ralph Wangatiah, and Joel Omukoko. Vice-chair Ambrose Subayi and member Sylvia Otunga survived. “The second respondent (county assembly) in a clandestine, illegal and irregular sitting, session and proceeding on December 14 contrary to requirements of Article 251 of the Constitution purported to resolve, recommend and remove from office chairperson and members of the board,” the petition reads.

It adds: “Governor Barasa and the county secretary, after receiving the said resolutions before being communicated to the petitioners (board), have purported to advertise the positions in the local dailies of December 15, yet the resolutions were made on December 14, at 10.30 pm.”

Those impeached in the case where the board is being represented by Nyikuli, Shifwoka and Company Advocates, argue that their removal was predetermined.

“The respondents are poised to install a new chairperson and members of CPSB, through a sham process, given the illegal and unprocedural advertisement already in circulation. They will do this any time from this moment, without the petitioners receiving communication of the new development,” the petition reads.

The board lamented that it has been locked out of office and therefore unable to discharge its duties.

The office of the Governor advertised the positions of chairperson and three board members in the local dailies on Thursday.

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