48 Trans Nzoia County assembly employees sacked after court ruling

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Silas Wafula speaking to the press

48 Trans Nzoia County assembly employees have been sacked following a successful petition by human rights defenders who questioned the manner they were employed. In 2016 the Trans Nzoia County assembly employed 54 people but only 48 were confirmed for jobs. 6 who were left out, together with human rights activists Silas Wafula, James Omaria and Francis Chemwor moved to the Eldoret labour court to file a petition.

The court heard that MCAs at that time used their positions to employ their kin, locking out the other 6 qualified candidates-David Musundi, Mike Musungu, Bernard Kwalia, Moses Fwamba, Valentine Biego and Brenda Pukose.

It was established that Sirende MCA Alfred Weswa, who at that time was the majority leader who by then was majority leader, used his position to employ his two daughters, while minority leader Hillary Kemei employed his wife, Margaret Wanjala employed her son, in a list of family driven appointments.

Judge Nelson Abuodha ruled that the assembly erred in the employment process and the procedure used was wrong, thus suspending the employments. “The court hereby declares that the appointment of 48 employees of the County assembly on July 1, 2016 as employees on permanent and pensionable terms, and the exclusion of the six, was discriminatory and amounted to unfair labour practices,” he said.

The County assembly, however, through its legal officer Katama Ngeywa appealed the ruling which has since been dismissed by the appellate court. Following the ruling, the assembly administration issued suspension letters to the affected employees and terminated their salaries.

Hospital MCA Eric Wafula hailed the ruling and faulted his former counterparts, saying they acted in malice, nepotism and tribalism in the whole employment processes. Petitioners led by Silas Wafula also lauded the ruling and promised to go back to court to compel the affected employees to pay back the money they were unlawfully receiving from the assembly.