Kenya: Court Allows Siaya Health Minister to Stay in Office

19 September 2019

Siaya County executive for Health will continue serving in the position until a petition she filed challenging her dismissal is heard and determined, the High Court directed Thursday.

High Court Judge Roselyn Aburuli gave the directions during mention of the case filed under a certificate of urgency.

She said the conservatory orders stopping the dismissal of Ms Dorothy Owino will remain in force until the petition she filed at the High Court in Kisumu last month is determined.

"I have directed that the existing order of the High Court in Kisumu be extended," she said.

Justice Aburuli further directed that the respondents, who include the Siaya county government, Governor Cornell Rasanga and the county assembly to file and serve their responses within 14 days.

REPRIEVE

She said the embattled CEC will have a right to file further affidavit together with written submissions within 10 days from the date she is served with the responses.

The judge further directed the parties in the suit to report back to court on November 20 for hearing of the petition.

The CEC moved to court on August 19 and obtained conservatory orders restraining the County Assembly of Siaya and the Governor Rasanga from sacking her.

The orders issued by Justice Fred Ochieng directed the matter be heard ex-parte and that the status quo be maintained.

The county assembly, Speaker George Okode, with Governor Rasanga have been listed as respondents in suit.

CALLS FOR DISMISSAL

The Siaya county reps passed a resolution on August 6 asking Governor Rasanga to immediately dismiss Ms Owino over accusations of gross misconduct and violation of the Constitution.

The county representatives had earlier adopted a report by a five member select committee of the assembly appointed to look into allegations by East Yimbo ward representative Francis Otiato against the county executive.

The committee's report tabled in the assembly indicated the allegations which the embattled county executive was facing had been substantiated and the committee recommended that she should be dismissed.

IMPEACHMENT MOTION

The Speaker of the Assembly wrote to the governor on August 15, informing him of the resolution of the assembly for the dismissal of the CEC, paving way for the appointment of a new county minister for the Health services docket.

Last week, the county assembly unanimously passed the impeachment motion against Ms Owino over alleged incompetence, gross misconduct, violation of the constitution and abuse of office .

The impeachment motion sought to have Ms Owino sacked for allegedly irregularly advancing Sh 400,000 from the county government to a contractor.

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