By JOHN MUTHONI
Kiambu, KENYA: The Industrial Court has declared it will hear the case filed by ousted Kiambu County Speaker but failed to grant orders to block the county assembly from electing another speaker.
This means that the county assembly will elect another Speaker to chair sittings.
Justice Nduma Nderi said there were justifiable grounds for the case filed by Nick Ndichu to be heard.
Nderi said Ndichu’s matter was properly before the court as he was receiving pay from the County Government for his services since he was an employee.
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“It does not matter the mode of employing an individual. What matters to this court is that the applicant had an appointment or a contract letter and was receiving pay for his services. This court has jurisdiction to hear the matter,” said Nderi.
On the rights of the petitioner, the judge said: “There were indeed rights of the petitioner that had been infringed (upon).” And thus the court is to determine if the applicant is to be compensated or not when the matter is heard in entirety.
However, Nderi said the applicant could apply for compensation saying he will suffer irreparable damages if the county government gets another person as his replacement.
Nderi added that if there would be no Speaker at the county as provided by the Constitution, there would be no business conducted on the floor of the House.
“A Speaker must be present in the assembly for it to sit. It is not like in the case of a governor where in his absence a deputy governor can carry out various functions on his behalf. It is thus important for me not to grant the prayers sought in which granting those orders would grind operations of the county assembly to a halt,” he said.
Lawyer Kibe Mungai who is representing the County Assembly had submitted that the position of Speaker is political and thus the court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Kibe argued that the process of removal of Ndichu as Speaker had been duly followed.
The matter will continue after the Judges’ vacation ends in May.