Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro has pleaded with a judge to lift an order barring him from effecting any changes in the county, arguing that it is hurting the delivery of services.
Through lawyer Kibe Mungai, Mr Nyoro told Justice Onesmus Makau that the order, which was granted without hearing his side of the story, was not warranted because he did nothing that affects the complainant – Ms Marion Njeri.
Justice Makau barred Mr Nyoro from reshuffling any members of the county executive or any other chief officers, pending the hearing of the petition filed by Ms Njeri, a Kiambu voter.
HIGH COURT PETITION
Mr Mungai further told the court that there is a petition pending before the High Court, challenging Section 32 (4) of the County Governments Act for denying a deputy governor the powers to nominate, appoint or dismiss any officers.
He said it would embarrass the courts were two judges to arrive at different interpretations.
According to Mr Mungai, the Employment and Labour Relations Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter since there are constitutional issues which need to be determined before the matter proceeds.
The lawyer informed the court that it is only a constitutional court that can interpret provisions of Article 179 (5) of the Constitution of Kenya and Section 32 (4) of the County Governments Act.
Mr Nyoro argued that as the acting governor, he requires sufficient legal capacity and scope to discharge his functions to ensure smooth service delivery, efficient governance and accountable administration.
But Ms Njeri, through lawyer Nelson Masaviru, objected to the application seeking to lift the orders, arguing that Mr Nyoro would be acting outside his mandate if allowed to reshuffle the Kiambu Cabinet.
The lawyer submitted that they were properly before the Labour court and that it has the powers to hear the petition.
The voter challenged the changes made by Mr Nyoro saying they were irregular and without any legal basis, contrary to provisions of Article 179 (5) of the Constitution and Section 32(4) of the County Governments Act, 2012.
Mr Nyoro had appointed Mr David Njuguna Burugu as Chief of Staff and reassigned a county executive committee member and dismissed some casual workers.
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, who is facing corruption charges was barred from accessing his office, leaving his deputy to be in charge of county affairs.
Justice Makau will give his ruling on October 11.