IN OFFICE ILLEGALLY?

Kisumu city manager refuses to go on terminal leave

Ombara says she can only leave office if told by Governor Nyong'o, whom she refers to as the appointing authority.

In Summary

• Ombara, whose contract ends in August 14, 2020, was directed by the board to immediately proceed on leave.

• The letter is copied to Governor Anyang Nyong’o, County secretary Godfrey Kigochi, County assembly speaker Elisha Oraro, and County public service board Chairperson Babu Karan.

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o and city manager Doris Ombara, among other county officials.
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o and city manager Doris Ombara, among other county officials.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

Kisumu manager Doris Ombara is still in office despite the city board's decision to send her on terminal leave from May 15.

Ombara, whose contract ends on August 14, was directed to immediately proceed on leave. She was replaced by Kisumu county assembly assistant clerk Peter Anditi.

In a letter dated May 13, Ombara was directed to hand over to Anditi, who is also the secretary of the Kisumu City Board, by May 15.

“You will recall that you were appointed as a city manager for a period of five years beginning August 15, 2015,” reads the letter signed by board chairman Elijah Adul.

"The purpose of this letter is to remind you that your said contract of employment is set to elapse on August 14, 2020. You should, therefore, proceed on leave immediately from May 15, 2020.”

According to the letter, the decision was arrived at following a board meeting on May 12. The board decided that Ombara should utilise the balance of her pending leave days, pending the expiry of her contract on August 14.

“We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your service and wish you the very best in your future endeavours,” the letter reads.

It was copied to Governor Anyang' Nyong’o, county secretary Godfrey Kigochi, county assembly speaker Elisha Oraro and County Public Service Board chairperson Babu Karan.

Sources at the board said the decision to send her on leave was to give them ample time to find her successor.

However, Ombara has stayed put. On Thursday, she said she was advised by Kigochi to wait for a further direction from Nyong'o, whom she refers to as the appointing authority.

"I am the one who wrote to the county secretary on my term coming to an end. I also indicated to them that I would like an extension to see the completion of the ongoing mega projects such as Uhuru Business Park," she said. 

Ombara said her track record speaks for itself. "I have not refused to leave the office. I will leave when I am directed so by the appointing authority," she said.

She said those pushing for her removal are fighting back because of tenders they want to give their cronies.

Ombara said she has not served for five years after she was forced out office for 18 months during former Governor Jack Ranguma's tenure.

She has survived many removal attempts. In 2016, she was involved in a legal battle with Ranguma, who had transferred her to another docket.

Ombara had been transferred from the powerful docket to the Lake Front Development Secretariat, then a new agency, in what Ranguma said was a promotion to reward her for transforming the county.

However, Ombara did not like the decision and moved to court to fight what she said amounted to demotion. She complained that she was being sent to head a nonexistent agency. She later got her job back.

 

(Edited by F'Orieny)