The three Garissa County Executive officer from left to right: Idriss Muktar incharge of Trade docket, Muktar Burale (water) and Salah Yakub (Environment and Energy) who obtained orders restraining their sacking.
BY SAM ALFAN.
The High Court has extended orders restraining the embattled Garissa Governor from sacking three county executive officers serving under his government till January next year.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Hellen Wasilwa extended temporary orders after she declined to vacate orders issued earlier in favor of the three county executive officers Idris Aden Mukhtar, Mukhtar Bulale and Salah Yakub Falah.
The three county executive officers will remain in office and carry their duties pending the hearing and determination of the suit challenging their sacking.
The matter seems to be complicating for the Garissa Governor Nathif Jama who is also facing a corruption case.
The governor obtained temporally orders stopping his arrest and prosecution over the alleged corruption charge.
Earlier the Governor’s lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi made unsuccessful application seeking to vacate orders issued against the governor, arguing that the governor has powers to appoint and sack the county executive officers in his government.
Ahmednasir requested for clarification and subsequent vacation of the court order issued by Justice Wa makau.
However the vacation judge, lady justice Monica Mbaru extended the orders pending the hearing set for 21 September, Stating he should wait for 21st for argument and raiding of concerns.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court had earlier extended orders issued against Garissa County Government challenging court orders that called for their sacking from the County Executive officers.
“The order issued by Justice Nzioka Makau on 31 July preserving status quo ante be and hereby extended” said Justice Linette
Justice Linette Ndolo warned the county government against violating court orders issued against them.
Three Garissa County Executive Members through a lawyer Charles Kanjama filed an appeal challenging court orders that called for their sacking from the County Assembly.
Idris Aden Mukhtar, Mukhtar Bulale and Salah Yakub Falah filed the appeal seeking the reinstatement of interim orders issued by Employment and Labour relations Judge Nzioka Makau.
Justice Makau’s orders were set aside on July 27 by a ruling issued by Justice Hellen Wasilwa who said that three could not continue working for their employer, the County Government of Garissa, if there lacked an existing working relationship.
The three also want the Garissa Governor Nathif Jama ordered to appear in court to show because why he should not be cited for contempt and committed to prison for disobeying orders issued on July 27.
Mukhtar, Bulale and Falah also want any orders given to the Garissa Governor to restructure his ministries stayed until the appeal is heard and determined.
The three lost a bid to keep their jobs after the Employment and Labour Relations Court threw out orders reinstating them, a ruling they are now challenging in court.
They were dismissed from office in May this year but were later reinstated after the court ordered so.Justice Wasilwa agreed with submissions tabled by the Jama led County Government stating that reinstating the three amounts to forcing an employee on an employer.
The County Government through lawyer Steven Mogaka challenged the orders issued reinstating the three arguing that they were issued exparte and the County did not get an opportunity to defend their stand.
The orders issued, Mogaka said, should not have been awarded at that stage without the court having listened to both sides.
“The court ought to have given the county government an opportunity to present its case against the three,” the lawyer said.
Mogaka told the court that the County had not acted in any malice when it made its decision to terminate the employment of the three
He told the court that Muhktar and Falah were fired after they failed to satisfactorily explain a trip they took to Israel and Italy without authorization from the county.
Buale on the other hand, the court had heard, was fired for failing to explain the delay in establishing a water project proposed by the County.
Delay in commencing work on the water project, he said, is posing a health risk to the residents who are now forced to take muddy water.
He maintained that the court erred in issuing the orders before having listened to submissions from both parties in the matter.
” Reinstatement of an employee is a substantive remedy not temporary relief the law does not contemplate that reinstatement issues as a provisional measure it’s a remedy that should normally be granted upon the full hearing of the employer and employee ‘s case “he submitted.
Before the three were sacked, Mogaka said, they were accorded an opportunity to defend their actions and counter the allegations against them, which they failed to do.
“The county government has since restructured its ministries by reducing them from eleven to seven in a move aimed at reducing expenditures on the county finance,” he said emphasizing that the three have no position in the County Government.
The public, he further stated, have also been informed of the changed after a press statement was sent notifying of the changes.
The County, he said, has appointed Hajir Mohamed Dahiye, Mohamed Aden Noor, Abdihakim Sheikh Dayb, Halima Mohammed Haji, Ahmed Aden and Hubi Hussein as County Executives in charge of Agriculture, Water, Finance, Sports, Transport and Health respectively.
The matters will be heard on 26 of January 2016 for further directions.