The High Court in Nyeri has stopped the from laying-off 3, 000 workers who had been earmarked for retrenchment.
Further to this, the Employment and Labour Relations Court also restrained the devolved unit from recruiting, interviewing, filling or appointing new staff as per an advertisement carried out in a local dairy on January 2.
“Leave is hereby given to operate as stay, the decision by the respondents from filling, recruiting for vacancies until the hearing and determination of interparty substantive motion,” Justice Makau Nzioki directed.
The workers in their judicial review application have named the County Government and the County Public Service Board as first and second respondents respectively.
The County Government Workers Union, Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Union of Civil Servants have been enjoined in the labour suit as interested parties.
In their application, the workers termed the move by the respondents to render them redundant as un-procedural and unfair contrary to the provisions of Employment Act 2007
The applicants through lawyer John Otieno claimed they were unfairly targeted for sacking merely because they served under the previous regime of former Governor Joshua Irungu.
He claimed they were being replaced by supporters of the current regime with a view of gaining political mileage in 2022 general election.
“They have ulterior motive and acting in bad faith to gain political mileage that is for self-gain rather than public interest,” argued the lawyer in his submission.
The counsel further argued that recruitment of new employees as per the advertisement was in bad faith, unlawful and only meant to unfairly terminate their services.
In response challenging the ruling, the respondents through lawyer, Owuor Ramogi said the orders issued by the court amounted to extreme interference with the operations of the devolved unit.
He said the orders were prejudicial to his clients because they would affect procedures that are not related to redundancy like hiring of new staff.
Interparty hearing is set to take place on March 23, 2020.
By Samuel Waititu