Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s suspended advisor on coalition affairs, Miguna Miguna Thursday moved to court seeking to quash the government’s decision to send him packing.
Mr Miguna has asked the court to block the permanent secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, Mohammed Isahakia and Attorney-General Amos Wako from suspending him or withholding his salary, allowances and other accruing benefits.
The suit, certified as urgent by High Court Judge Nicholas Ombija, names Dr Isahakia and the AG as respondents and is set for hearing on August 24.
Mr Miguna, a controversial civil servant, claims the decision to remove him from office “is unconstitutional and in breach of the statute.”
“The move is illegal, unprocedural, unfair, irrational and unreasonable and the respondents ought to be restrained by an order of stay pending determination of these proceedings,” says Mr Miguna in court papers filed by Havi and Company Advocates.
Mr Miguna was appointed on March 6, 2009 for a three year contract and posted to the secretariat for the Cabinet on Coalition Co-ordination of the PM’s office.
He was taking home Sh600,000 in salary and allowances. His basic monthly salary stood at Sh254,000, house allowance Sh80,000, entertainment allowance Sh100,000, extraneous allowance Sh100,000, leave allowance Sh50,000 and domestic staff allowance Sh15,600.
Mr Miguna also enjoyed a comprehensive medical cover from Pioneer Insurance for himself, his wife and five children, a chauffeur-driven official car, armed bodyguards and round the clock security at his Nairobi residence.
He argues that as a public officer in the rank of PS and duly appointed by the President, he is entitled to a monthly salary, allowances and benefits and in the event of interdiction and be paid half his salary and accompanying allowances pending the outcome of the investigation on his alleged gross misconduct.
Mr Miguna argues that he was not served with a warning letter detailing particulars of the allegations of misconduct, saying failure by the PS to accord him an opportunity to respond was a violation of his legal and constitutional rights.
“Instead of inviting the applicant to return from vacation and issuing him with the suspension letter in a humane and dignified manner, the PS leaked the letter to the media 24 hours before it was delivered to him,” submitted Mr Miguna’s lawyer.
Further, Mr Miguna says the PS and the AG have frustrated his legitimate expectations that he would be given a fair hearing on his termination or suspension from public office as required by the Constitution.
Mr Miguna says the decision to send him home was unlawful since a public officer “can only be suspended if he is convicted of a criminal offence or is facing similar proceedings in court.”
He was suspended last week without pay on instructions of Mr Odinga over what Dr Isahakia termed as gross misconduct on his part. Consequently, the PS ordered that an investigation be launched on Mr Miguna’s alleged misbehaviour.
“I have been instructed by the PM that you be suspended from performing your duties as the Advisor, Coalition Affairs, with immediate effect for gross misconduct,” said letter from Dr Isahakia.
Among the accusations levelled against Mr Miguna was his refusal to sign Local Agreement forms, harassment, intimidation and use of abusive language to colleagues and misrepresenting the Office of the PM.