The Labour court has stopped Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wairia from replacing businessman Peter Munga as chairman of Murang’a Water and sanitation Company (Muwasco).
Justice Byram Ongaya has also temporarily revoked Mr Wairia’s appointment of Professor Joseph Kimura who had been nominated to replace Mr Munga.
While stopping implementation of a Kenya Gazette notice appointing Prof Kimura, the judge also prohibited the governor from interfering with Muwasco board of directors, staff and operations of the company.
Justice Ongaya, while certifying Mr Munga’s application as urgent, directed Murang’a police division head (OCPD) to enforce the order by ensuring the business tycoon continues to serve as the chairman of the company and no interference of its operations.
The orders were issued after Mr Munga sued the governor for attempting to remove him from the firm.
Through lawyer Anthony Kabathi, the former Equity Bank #ticker:EQTY chairman said the governor had arbitrarily terminated his tenure as the chairperson and irregularly, unlawfully and unconstitutionally appointed Prof Kimura.
He added that he was denied the right to be heard and was not given reasons for the termination.
The lawyer said dethronement of Mr Munga is designed to hold the Muwasco Board hostage "so as to create a platform for corrupt and manipulative machinations."
“By orchestrating a hostile coup against the Petitioner, the Respondent (Wairia) has failed to uphold the crucial tenets of the rule of law and respect for human rights. Besides he has fallen short of the principles of good governance and accountability,” said lawyer Kabathi.
The court heard that Mr Munga has over the years been a responsible and dedicated servant of the company in the provision of water and sanitation services in Murang’a county.
“He has overseen improved water supply thereby substantially reducing water shortages which was an endemic challenge,” noted Mr Kabathi.
The petition will be heard on September 3 when the governor is expected to have filed his response to the petition.