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Governor Nyong'o faces lawsuit over controversial appointments

Two petitioners, Mr George Abwajo and Mr Phillip Pande, have sued Kisumu governor Anyang' Nyong'o over controversial Chief Officer appointments

Anyang' Nyong'o

Kisumu county governor, Anyang' Nyong'o is facing a lawsuit over the alleged irregular shortlisting of 10 chief officers by two individuals from Kisumu.

The petitioners, Mr George Abwajo and Mr Phillip Pande, are demanding that the county assembly be prevented from vetting and approving the shortlisted candidates until their case is heard and decided.

The two men filed a petition at the High Court of Kenya suing Prof Nyong'o, the Kisumu County Public Service Board, its secretary and CEO Hesbon Hongo. The County Assembly of Kisumu is an interested party.

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Mr. Pande and Mr. Abwajo claim that the county government of Kisumu violated the Constitution by shortlisting 10 chief officers from various departments, which failed to reflect regional and gender balance.

According to their sworn affidavits, the questionable appointments comprise nine male persons and only one female, with no persons with disability and no youth, contrary to the express requirements of the law.

They argue that the impugned appointments do not reflect the face of Kisumu County, both in terms of sharing opportunities across the seven sub-counties in the region and on ethnic numerical composition of the cosmopolitan Kisumu County.

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The chief officers whose names have been forwarded to the assembly include Ms Benter Achieng Omolo, Mr Victor Ndereba Kanyaura, Dr Ojwang Lusi, Mr Francis Okoth Asunah, Mr Charles Owino Odhong, Mr Paul Njenga Waweru, Mr Daniel Okia Otieno, Mr Bovince Ochieng, Mr Frederick Mula Osewe, and Mr Timothy Nyakwamba Ajwang.

The petitioners accused governor Nyong’o of failing to uphold the values and principles of public service by not enquiring the content of the list of appointees.

Additionally, the two individuals alleged that Mr. Hongo oversaw the recruitment process even though he has been illegally in office since November 2013, exceeding the non-renewable six-year term limit specified in Section 58 of the County Governments Act, and still receiving compensation from public funds.

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The petitioners have made 13 demands, including a request for the positions to be re-advertised and for due process to be followed according to the Constitution.

They also seek a court declaration that Mr Hongo is unlawfully holding office and should immediately cease receiving public salaries and benefits.

“We want a further order from the court to compelling Governor Nyong’o and the County Public Service Board to recover to recover all salaries and benefits paid to Mr Hongo subsequent to the expiry of his six-year non-renewable term in office in November 2019,” said the petitioners," the affidavit reads in part.

Until a new CEO-cum-secretary of the board is appointed, the petitioners are asking the court to put a stop to all new appointments, promotions, and vacancies being filled with the Kisumu County Public Service.

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