MARRED WITH IRREGULARITIES

Activists in court over municipal board hiring in Homa Bay

Petitioners say due diligence was not done

In Summary

• The board members are Peter Ongoro, William Oracha, Dorcas Matunga, Evaline Ochele, Maurice Odhoch, Peter Otieno and Caren Odiyo.

• They were sworn in before the governor on August 29.

The Homa Bay civil society group leaders Michael Kojo and Evance Oloo in Homa Bay town on September 12,2019. They have challeneged in court the appointments of seven members of Homa Bay Municipality board.
The Homa Bay civil society group leaders Michael Kojo and Evance Oloo in Homa Bay town on September 12,2019. They have challeneged in court the appointments of seven members of Homa Bay Municipality board.
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Two civil society groups want the appointment of members of Homa Bay County Municipality board revoked. 

Interface Community Help Desk and Asego Public Interest Mitigation Programme yesterday went to the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu to challenge the hiring of the seven members. 

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti, county secretary Isaiah Ogwe and Homa Bay county assembly clerk Daniel Kaudo are listed as respondents.

The lobby groups through their leaders Evance Oloo and Michael Kojo argued that the officials' appointment was marred with irregularities.

The board members are Peter Ongoro, William Oracha, Dorcas Matunga, Evaline Ochele, Maurice Odhoch, Peter Otieno and Caren Odiyo.

They were sworn in before the governor on August 29.

Some of their duties include planning and developing control, fire fighting and disaster management, traffic control and parking, street lighting, water and sanitation among others.

In their petition, the civil society groups claimed the respondents failed to follow due diligence by flouting governing public appointments.

“The governor violated the principal that requires that gender equity, representation of persons living with disability, youth and marginalised groups are considered when making appointments,” the petition read in part.

Oloo and Kojo argued that Governor Awiti appointed four members to the board instead of three as required by law.

The respondents are also accused of advertising the job vacancies before the Homa Bay Municipal Charter was published and gazetted.

The petitioners also said the professionalism of the persons appointed is not clearly indicated.

“The respondents hurriedly carried out an exercise in futility by not observing statutory instruments act,” Kojo said.

In their application, they want the court to issue orders and compel respondents to revoke the appointments and members stopped from serving the public pending hearing and determination of the case.

They also want the court to issue orders restraining the respondents or their agents from serving as board members.

“Pending hearing and determination of the application, let the court suspend or revoke the Homa Bay Municipality Charter as it doesn’t conform with the law,” Kojo said.

The case will be heard before Justice Helen Wasilwa on September 24.

All the respondents have been served with the court hearing notice.