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Court summons water board officials over contempt

NATIONAL
By Daniel Chege | November 30th 2021

Judge gavel [Courtesy]

The High Court has summoned board members of the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority who have been cited for contempt.

Nakuru Employment and Labour Relations Court judge, justice David Nderitu want the board chairman, its chief executive officer to appear before him on December 7 following contempt proceedings filed by David Ngure.

Mr Ngure filed his application on May 28 this year faulting the board's decision to extend the term of office for the CEO Sharon Obonyo. 

“The application for contempt dated May 28, 2021, be heard on December 7. The Deputy Registrar of the High Court is directed to issue summons for all the parties in the case to appear in court,” ruled Mr Nderitu.

Nderitu directed the case to be heard orally in open court and urged the parties in the case to file and serve their authorities by December 1.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all parties and lawyers involved in the case must be present in court,” ordered the judge.

The judge made an order in a Judicial Review application by Ngure filed in May through his lawyer Emmanuel Koskei.

In the application, Ngure accuse the board of disobeying a court order and unlawfully extended the term of CEO Obonyo as acting CEO.

The board members and directors mentioned include Obonyo, Aldullahi Jaldesa, Samuel Alima, Elema Huka, Walubengo Waningilo, Jane Mwikali, Monica Cherutich, Geoffrey Gitau and Benard Okebe.

Ngure submits that on May 25, Justice Hellen Wasilwa stayed the implementation of resolutions of the “3rd Special Full Board of Directors meeting”, held on April 28.

Ms Wasilwa also temporarily stopped the extension letter dated April 28, appointing Obonyo as acting CEO, thereby extending her term.

Ngure however claims, that the directors of the board and Ms Obonyo willfully defied the court order despite being duly served with it.

According to Ngure, despite the orders, Obonyo in a letter dated May 27, invited the board members to the “4th Special Full Board Meeting”, to be held on the same day.

One of the agendas of the meeting was the status of the acting CEO.

“In the absence of the absence of authority’s Chairman, the board unlawfully resolved to extend Obonyo’s term as acting CEO, contrary to the orders,” reads the application.

Ngure insists that Ms Wasilwa’s orders have not been varied nor set aside by any other court and thus continue to be in force.

He appeals to the court to prohibit Obonyo from occupying the office of the CEO until a new full board meeting is convened to appoint a new acting CEO.

He wants the court to find the nine mentioned board members and officials in contempt of court and order them to pay the sum of monies as a penalty.

“The court be pleased to order the nine be arrested and committed to civil jail and be fined for contempt,” he submits.

The case will be heard in open court on December 7.

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