Two Laikipia chiefs sacked by PS Karanja Kibicho over illicit alcohol menace reinstated

Laikipia County Commissioner Apollo Okello said the two had been remorseful.

Thursday March 24 2016

Matanya Location chief Wilson Thuo (left) and

Matanya Location chief Wilson Thuo (left) and his assistant Patrick Mathenge after they were reinstated by County Commissioner Apollo Okello on March 23, 2016. They had been sacked by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho for failure to fight illicit alcohol in the area. PHOTO | MUCHIRI GITONGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MUCHIRI GITONGA
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Two chiefs from Laikipia County who had earlier been sacked at a public baraza Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho for failure to fight illicit alcohol have been given back their jobs.

County Commissioner Apollo Okello returned to Matanya trading centre on Wednesday and reinstated Tigithi Location chief Wilson Thuo and his assistant Patrick Mathenge amid cheers from the residents.

Officials of the Union of Kenya Civil Servants (UKCS) had faulted Dr Kibicho’s sacking of several chiefs in central Kenya region terming it as illegal and demanded that the administrators be reinstated to their positions failure to which they said they would sue the national government.

The two administrators shed tears of joy as Mr Okello handed them back their official caps and epaulettes at the same venue where the PS announced their sacking.

Last Friday, Dr Kibicho reprimanded the two before sacking them publicly for allegedly drinking alcohol during working hours and while in official uniform, smoking cigarettes in public and allowing bars in their area to operate beyond the stipulated hours.

SACKINGS NOT POLITICAL

“You have been reinstated not because of pressure or influence of any politician but because we believe you are remorseful,” the county commissioner said, dismissing claims that the sackings had been political.

He said the chiefs went to his office on Monday and admitted to the accusations levelled against them and promised to mend their ways.

The county commissioner said he had communicated to the principal secretary who had agreed that the administrators be given a second chance.

He was, however, categorical that the government will not hesitate to send home any administrator going against the set code of conduct.

The war against illicit brews will not stop and all the chiefs and their assistants have the responsibility to make sure that their areas are free of the vice, he added.

Tigithi Ward MCA Beth Muchiri said the residents had been outraged by the PS’s decision to sack the two as the area had remained volatile for the period that they were away from their jobs.

Their sacking had left the entire Tigithi Division without a chief or an assistant chief as Mr Thuo was also the acting chief of Marura Location in Sweet Waters Division.

Ms Muchiri told the two administrators to work independently claiming that there were people who wanted them to lose their jobs.

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