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Sacked CECs lose effort to return to work

By Robert Amalemba | November 16th 2021
Dr Wilber Otichillo, the Vihiga County Governor. [File, Standard]

Four sacked Vihiga County executives have failed to convince court to reinstate them. This despite the executives having High Court orders to suspend their sacking after the assembly impeached them.

Justice Christine Baari of Labour Court Kisumu said Governor Wilber Ottichilo and the county's service board were not compelled to reinstate the four following suspension orders.

“The prayer for reinstatement is not one imposed on the governor by statute or the Constitution, and the High Court order purporting to have stayed the impeachment process does not amount to an order for reinstatement,” said the judge, adding: “Moreover, in the opinion of this court, there are more appropriate remedies for the four other than the judicial review."

The four went to the Kisumu court seeking interpretation of the Vihiga orders, which ruled that the process of their impeachment by the assembly in June over abuse of office and gross misconduct was illegal.

Justice Farah Amin of Vihiga ruled that Pamela Kimwele (Public Service), Amos Kutwa (Health), Paul Mbuni (Lands) and Kenneth Keseko (Trade) were impeached in an illegal assembly process, leading to undue sacking.

When the county did not reinstate them they sought interpretation of the ruling and asked the Labour Court in Kisumu to issue superior orders compelling the county to reinstate them. “Despite the orders, Governor Ottichilo has refused, ignored and otherwise neglected to reinstate us... His action of dismissing us amounts to an illegal, unfair and unlawful dismissal contrary to the principles of natural justice,” they pleaded as they tabled their dismissal letters dated June 18, 2021.   

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