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Economy

Sacked Kirinyaga County officials sue for Sh29.2m

Anne Waiguru
Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

wo Kirinyaga County executive committee members sacked over alleged incompetence and underperformance want compensation of Sh29.2 million for wrongful dismissal.

Judy Wathata Kinyua (Gender and Social Services) and Peter Karugumi (Transport, Roads and Public Works), have sued the Governor, Anne Waiguru, and the county government at the Labour Relations Court in Nyeri for termination of their employment.

Ms Kinyua said in her petition she had legitimate expectation that her appointment would never be terminated arbitrarily and without reason or justification before the end of the Governor’s elective term.

Through lawyer Wahome Thuku, the petitioner who is demanding Sh16.2 million compensation, said upon appointment she made several financial commitments including securing a car loan and that the dismissal from office had adversely affected her finances.

Before she was appointed into the devolved government, Ms Kinyua was engaged in professional consultancy on gender affairs. The lawyer said the Governor had denied the petitioner a fair hearing and reasons for suspension from duty. “The Governor failed to exercise her authority in a manner that is consistent with the purpose and objects of the constitution as required under Article 73 (1). Everyone has a right to fair labour practices, which right was denied and breached by the Governor and the county government,” said Mr Thuku.

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Ms Kinyua was suspended on July 1, 2018, before being sacked on August 20, 2018.

“Prior to the suspension, the petitioner had never been given any warning whether in writing or in any other form by the Governor regarding her performance. She had never been summoned or interrogated by the County Assembly,” said Mr Thuku.

He claimed the suspension was merely an action to kick-start the termination process which had already been mooted and decided upon by the Governor “without any reasons and for selfish ends”.

Though Ms Kinyua was suspended to allow investigations into her suitability, the lawyer said she was not provided with details of the said probe neither was she called to defend herself before any authority.

According to a letter dated August 6, 2018, Ms Kinyua was sacked over alleged failure to implement budgeted programmes and projects in the financial year 2017/2018.

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