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Nairobi Clerk Jacob Ngwele accused of absconding duty

Friday November 29 2019

Nairobi Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele

Nairobi Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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There was drama at the Employment and Labour Relations Court after lawyers and Nairobi County employees accused assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele of frustrating payments for various services.   

Lawyers Harrison Kinyanjui and Cecil Miller also accused Mr Ngwele of absconding duty despite being ordered back to office.  

County staff who attended the hearing of a contempt application seeking to commit to jail Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi heckled Mr Ngwele who was ordered to make all payments in accordance with the law.

GROUNDED SERVICES

“Mr Ngwele has grounded services since he has not paid the employees,” the court was told. Employees accused Mr Ngwele of carrying a gun in public.

Justice Makau asked Mr Ngwele to explain why he had not been going to work as ordered on October 30, 2019.

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Mr Ngwele claimed his office had been closed and office equipment carted away. Mr Kinyanjui said the clerk was misleading the court.

“I went to police to get the court orders implemented and ensured (Mr) Ngwele resumed duty,” Mr Kinyanjui said.

Mr Ngwele said: “I don’t have to be in an office, I can work from anywhere,” he said.

Justice Nzioki wa Makau directed the county clerk to effect payments for all employees. He also directed Ms Monicah Muthami to operationalise the computer systems.

EFFECT PAYMENTS

“I direct that you effect payments for the employees and other services today (Friday),” Justice Makau ordered Mr Ngwele.

In a petition, Mr Ngwele had sought to have Ms Elachi committed to jail for defying a court order lifting his suspension. 

Lawyers Kinyanjui and Miller argued that contempt application was defective as it was filed under the wrong rules.  

Mr Kinyanjui told the court that the application by Mr Ngwele did not adhere to the law since it was filed as a notice of notion instead of an application notice. He said Ms Elachi was not served with the application as required by law.  

Mr Miller told the court that an application of contempt must set out specific grounds. He said that the breach must be precisely defined and supposed guilt proven.

TECHNICAL APPEARANCES

He told the court that even after returning to work on Monday, Mr Ngwele had been making technical appearances.

They also accused him of carrying a firearm to court and cash - for unknown purposes.

Justice Makau directed the clerk to report back to work immediately since he had been given police protection.

Ngwele had sued Ms Elachi and the Nairobi County Assembly Board for disobeying a court order by suspending and sending him on a one-month compulsory leave, and appointing Ms Monica Muthami Acting Clerk on October 30. Justice Makau will make a ruling on December 13, 2019.

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