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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 28 July 2014

NAKURU GOVERNOR ESCAPES IMPRISONMENT BY A WHISKER

Nakuru governor and his county secretary survived a six- month civil jail term over contempt charges recently before a Nakuru court.

The Rift Valley Water Services Board CEO Japhet Mutai and five others were among those who evaded the court axe after the Nakuru Industrial Court ruled that Kinuthia Mbugua and his interim county secretary Joseph Motari were not served personally with court orders.

Judge Byram Ong’aya gave out the verdict following the reinstated Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Board director Geoffrey Asanyo’s move before the court where he obtained leave to file a contempt application against them.

Asanyo, whose contract had been terminated by Nakuru county before the court reversed it had argued that Mutai and Motari through a letter to Nawassco managing director John Cheruiyot termed them an illegal board of directors despite court orders reinstating them.

In the Industrial Court ruling, Judge Ongaya established that Asanyo failed to show that at the time of writing of the letter, the top county officials had been served with orders directing to convene board directors’ meeting. Nakuru county government through RVSWB advertised six directorship positions in Nawassco on March 5 while Asanyo and his co-directors were still in service but the decision was reversed by the industrial court.

The positions included Asanyo’s directorship position representing local business community which prompted him to challenge the recruitment process and seek reverse of the decision for unlawful termination.

The Industrial Court ordered then Nawassco MD John Cheruiyot to convene a meeting of directors within five days from date of ruling to deliberate board’s prevailing status of the company’s board membership.

Judge Ongaya also had ordered Cheruiyot to file the deliberations in court for it to make further appropriate orders of which Cheruiyot is said to have ignored following the county offices’ directives which were the basis of the contempt charges.

The county’s lawyer Tom Ojienda said he was happy with the ruling saying justice has been done particularly on the contempt charges against the county governor and his officials.
He said he is delighted with the ruling adding this will give humble time for the county government to put in place whatever could have gone wrong in the Nawassco management if any.
RVWSB CEO Japhet Mutai said after the ruling that he was happy on the court verdict and that according to him the suit was taken to court with malicious intentions which, however, backfired.

He said his main agenda now is to put the past behind and forge ahead adding that his main agenda now is to strengthen the Nawassco management for quality services to Nakuru town water consumers.