LEGAL ROADBLOCK

Court case derails swearing-in of four Kitui chief officers

Ngilu-era chief officers have blocked the appointment saying they were employed on permanent and pensionable terms

In Summary
  • The four John Kamunda, Jonathan Nzau, Bretta Mwangangi, Nason Kilonzo.
  • Governor Malombe has expressed optimism the case at the Labour Relations court in Nairobi would soon be thrown out. 
Some of the new Kitui executives pose for a photo with Kitui Governor Julius Malombe (C) after their swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, February 8.
NEW ERA: Some of the new Kitui executives pose for a photo with Kitui Governor Julius Malombe (C) after their swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, February 8.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

Four individuals nominated by Kitui Governor Julius Malombe for positions of chief officers and approved by MCAs will have to wait a little longer before assuming office. 

The four John Kamunda, Jonathan Nzau, Bretta Mwangangi, Nason Kilonzo.

Governor Malombe said that Kitui people will not immediately enjoy the services of the four officers until the court case is concluded.

He expressed optimism that that case would be concluded soon. 

Malombe was speaking outside his office after witnessing the swearing in of his 10 county executive committee members and 22 chief officers. The four affected officer were left out.

The ceremony was presided over by Kitui resident magistrate, Justine Asiago.

Also present were Kitui assembly speaker Kevin Katisya and County Commissioner Erastis Mbui, as well as MCAs, clergymen and members of the public. 

The governor told the ceremony that four chief officers who were hired by his predecessor Charity Ngilu had gone to court to stop their being fired. The chief officers argue that they were employed on permanent and pensionable terms.

The Ngilu-era chief officers are Zakayo Kimanzi, Geoffrey Changangu, Enock Nguthu and Joseph Kimanga.  

Malombe said they had obtained a conservatory court order restraining him from appointing their replacement. He said for his respect for the rule of law he had thus put on hold the appointment. 

The governor, however, said he was optimistic that the case at the Labour Relations court in Nairobi would be thrown out and sooner than later the suspended appointment of his four chief officers will be effected.

Kitui county Finance executive Peter Kilonzo is congratulated by the Mumoni MCA Titus Kasinga upon his being sworn into office on Wednesday, February 8.
NEW ERA: Kitui county Finance executive Peter Kilonzo is congratulated by the Mumoni MCA Titus Kasinga upon his being sworn into office on Wednesday, February 8.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

Among the 10 executives who took oath of office are the immediate former Kitui assembly majority leaders and Athi MCA Peter Kilonzo who becomes Finance and Revenue Management executive.           

The immediate former MCA for Kyuso and Kitui assembly majority whip Stephen Musili takes over as the chief officer for Trade and Industry.

The ceremony also saw the return of Ruth Mwanzia as the Health executive and the comeback of Peter Nkunda in the  Water and Irrigation docket. 

The duo previously served as Kitui executives under Malombe between 2013 and 2017.

The governor’s former chief officer for Trade Gladys Wambua took oath in the same capacity in the Irrigation docket. Her former colleague in Basic Education Pauline Mwalali has returned to her previous slot.

The new Kitui county executives Rose Mutuku (Trade and Industry), Joyce Titus (Education and Skills Development) and Fredrick Kimanga (Land and Housing) during the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, February 8.
NEW ERA: The new Kitui county executives Rose Mutuku (Trade and Industry), Joyce Titus (Education and Skills Development) and Fredrick Kimanga (Land and Housing) during the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, February 8.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

Agnes Mulewa, who was a chief officer for Administration in Ngilu’s government, has been retained and will be in charge of Public Service and Administration. 

Also taking office as chief officers are some county government officers who have earned a promotion. They include Salee Kitonga who takes up the decentralised units and intergovernmental relations slot.

Other officers who have scaled the ranks are former Kitui municipal manager,Nathan Vungo who will be in charge of Water and former county head of revenue, John Kimwele, who is now chief officer for Finance.

 

(edited by Amol Awuor)

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