CONTEMPT

Court stops arrest of Kitui Health chief officer

Muthoka is accused of illegally transferring a doctor from one station to another

In Summary

• Dr Richard Muthoka's lawyer Leonard Mbuvi successfully argued that his client had not been heard. 

• Justice Byram Ongaya of Employment and Labour Relations Court suspended the arrest pending the hearing of Mbuvi's application.  

Health chief officer says all Kenyan civil servants are bound by law to obey normal transfers.
'NOT WORKED SINCE TRANSFER': Health chief officer says all Kenyan civil servants are bound by law to obey normal transfers.
Image: FILE

The High Court has quashed an arrest warrant against Kitui Health chief officer for contempt of court.

Dr Richard Muthoka's lawyer Leonard Mbuvi successfully argued that his client had not been heard. 

Justice Byram Ongaya of the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspended the arrest pending the hearing of Mbuvi's application. 

Mbuvi told the court that his client was not aware of the case filed by Dr Kennedy Mulwa challenging his transfer from Kitui Referral Hospital to Zombe Subcounty Hospital in which the order arose.

Muthoka said it was difficult for him to work with the arrest warrant hanging over his neck.

Dr Mulwa had on November 1, last year obtained the arrest warrant claiming that Muthoka had defied court orders to respond to his application.

He accused Muthoka of illegally transferring him from one station to another.

But Muthoka said the petitioner never served him with any court papers hence could not respond.

In his affidavit, Muthoka says Mulwa came to court seeking to stop his transfer from one station to another.

"He is still receiving his full salary despite the fact that he never reported to his new work station," Muthoka said.

Muthoka says the petitioner obtained exparte orders and he is in the process of executing them to his detriment.

He said all civil servants in Kenya are bound to obey normal transfers within the county or country as directed by their employers.

"We never sacked the petitioner and since the date of his transfer, he has not worked or reported to work despite the fact that he is earning his full salary to date," the CO said.

The judge certified the application as urgent urged and directed him to serve in two days for inter-parties hearing or further orders.

(edited by o. owino)