Court orders Kisumu Finance CEC to stay in office until impeachment case is determined

Saturday, September 21st, 2019 00:00 |
Justice. Photo/Courtesy

Viola Kosome

Kisumu county Finance Executive Nerry Achar can now heave a sigh of relief after the Employment and Labour Relations Court extended his stay in office.

Justice Nduma Nderi ruled that Achar be allowed to stay in office until the ruling on his application is made on February 6, next year.

Achar, who was impeached by MCAs on August 13 over alleged incompetence, moved to court to challenge the move.

His lawyer Peter Wanyama, who represented him during Friday's trial, told the court his client was in Nairobi pushing for workers’ pay when he received a letter  stating that he should appear in the Assembly on August 3 or 4  for impeachment but they were unable to appear before the House on the said date as it was a weekend and also his day of worship.

“I  wrote a letter pleading with the Assembly to allow me come with my client on Monday or Tuesday after a day’s preparation but my request was turned down,” he said.

MCAs went ahead to impeach the CEC on a Sunday without granting him a 10-day impeachment proceeding as required for fair trial.

The lawyer  told the court  his request for the documents supporting the impeachment was declined, and instead theAssembly went ahead to gazette the impeachment.

Lawyer Amos Wandago, who represented the respondents, refuted the  claims, saying Achar did not indicate in his affidavit that he was in Nairobi at the time he received his impeachment message.

"By failing to appear in the Assembly on August 3 and 4 as commanded, the accused went against the Constitution's Article 195 that allows the Assembly to summon anyone without granting them a chance to accept or decline their call," he said.

Meanwhile, two Kisumu City Board members, who were sacked last month, will wait a little longer to know their fate after the court pushed their case to December 11.

Former mayor Sam Okello and Ken Akoko were fired by Governor Anyang Nyong'o over lack of degree certificates.

On Friday, Appendix Mugo, who represented the applicants, told the court his clients were not given a chance for explanations following an abrupt  notice of termination.

He argued that according to the application they were to serve for five years from the date of appointment but they served for only one year.

"My clients' rights were infringed after an abrupt and arbitrary termination despite having a right to serve for  five years after being vetted by the county Assembly. I pray that the court intervenes," he said.

Moses Omondi, who represented the respondents, told the court that the amendment provided that it was a must for the applicants to have a degree from a recognised university.

Apart from the two sacked members, the other board members include Charles Ochome, Sheila Okay, Lawrence Humberto, Rose Olende, Sugar Shah, Elijah Adults, Friday Salim, Paris Ochola and John Ombija.

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