- The Nyeri Labour and Employment Relations Court sitting in Meru on Tuesday certified as urgent an application filed by 437 Machakos county finance officers.
- The officials want the court to overturn the decision by Governor Alfred Mutua to send them on compulsory leave.
- The court set October 31 for the inter partes hearing and ordered the applicants to serve the respondents by yesterday.
By Allan Tawai
Judge Byram Ongaya ordered the Machakos Public Service Board to retain the staff temporarily and ordered it to file and provide reasons for the compulsory leave.
“Pending the inter partes hearing, the parties should maintain the status quo so the applicants, who are currently on compulsory leave, shall remain in the Public Service Board. The parties are encouraged to negotiate an amicable compromise,” Ongaya said.
Through lawyer Mutua Muli, the 437 officers have filed an application and mentioned Mutua, the county secretary and Public Service Board as the first, second and third respondents.
The employees said it is the PSB’s, not the governor’s, role to suspend workers.
Muli sought conservatory orders directing the respondents not to suspend the employees pending the hearing and determination of the case.
He also wants the court to reinstate the staff and direct the county to pay them their August and September salaries.
After Mutua was sworn in on August 19, he immediately sent all finance officers on compulsory leave and suspended financial operations.
He said the move was to allow a thorough, independent audit and suitability assessment of staff and financial operations. The officers sent home include finance and procurement officers, accountants, auditors, and directors.
They are not to access government premises until they are recalled.