Confidential sources told The Weekly Vision that Mr Ntoiti’s return to City Hall after legally deserting office for five years is something that needs to be investigated. Ntoiti left City Hall in 2017 as a Chief Officer in charge of Sub-County Administration, according to records at the human resources department, he never legally quit. Instead, he was hired by Governor Kiraitu Murungi to serve as general manager of the Meru County Revenue Board. His unprocedural return to Nairobi City County was allegedly pushed by DP Gachagua through Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri
Lobbying to fill the vacant position of County Secretary in Nairobi County has taken a dramatic turn with revelations emerging that the post has attracted the attention of political heavyweights in the ruling Kenya Kwanza Coalition. According to well-placed sources, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and other Western Kenya leaders in government and the opposition have sworn to make sure that Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja operates under no pressure, threats, or intimidation from any quarter.
Mudavadi’s call is perhaps a response to the alleged meddling by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagwa and his Mount Kenya team who are said to be exerting unreasonable demands on the governor and threatening him with undefined consequences.
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The Mudavad-Gachagua supremacy battle has even spilled over to other sensitive offices at City Hall, DP Gachagua is said to be arm-twisting Governor Sakaja to pick his preferred candidate, John Ntoiti, as the next County Secretary. Sources say the governor has vowed not to give in to the DP’s unrealistic demand of attempting to run City Hall through proxies. With Musalia Mudavadi and President William Ruto getting along well now, Gachagua’s political power has significantly decreased and his attempts to plant cronies at City Hall and elsewhere in the government may not see the light of the day.
Confidential sources told The Weekly Vision that Mr Ntoiti’s return to City Hall after legally deserting office for five years is something that needs to be investigated. Ntoiti left City Hall in 2017 as a Chief Officer in charge of Sub-County Administration, according to records at the human resources department, he never legally quit. Instead, he was hired by Governor Kiraitu Murungi to serve as general manager of the Meru County Revenue Board. His unprocedural return to Nairobi City County was allegedly pushed by DP Gachagua through Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri.
Mr Ntoiti’s exit from Meru County was full of drama, as he was forcefully removed from office after he refused to hand over even after being served with a letter sending him on compulsory leave. One month after entering office, Meru County Governor Kawira Mwangaza conducted a dramatic operation in which he ordered personnel suspected of being involved in dubious deals to proceed on forced leave pending investigations. Kawira knew that cleansing of the revenue department was necessary in order for her to successfully manage the county’s revenue collection and keep the promises she had made to the voters in the lead-up to the last general elections.
First to be shown the exit door was county revenue board manager John Ntoiti, who was replaced by Francis Mungai. In an effort to reclaim his position, Mr Ntoiti, together with other three petitioners, went to the Employment and Labour Relations Court at Meru (Petition 1 of 2022) and sued the County Secretary, the County Government of Meru, the Meru County Public Service Board, and the Governor of the County Government of Meru.
Earlier, Ntoiti had gone to court and sought orders restraining Governor Mwangaza, their servants, and/or agents from implementing the impugned decision contained in the letters to the petitioners dated 28th August 2022, 6th September 2022 and 7th September 2022, which sent him on compulsory leave and further appointed other persons to act in place of the petitioners. The orders were granted on 7th October 2022, by Judge Marete J.
He claimed that the governor had blatantly failed or refused to allow them back to their officers and that the respondents had instructed those appointed to replace them to stay put in acting capacities. He further urged the court to punish the governor and the people she had appointed to act in contempt of court to safeguard the authority of the court.
It is important to note that while Mr Ntoiti was just sent on compulsory leave to pave the way for investigations into alleged corruption and looting of funds, he rushed to court to sue the governor. In a replying affidavit sworn on 12th January 2023 by Mr Rufus J. M. Miriti, County Secretary, he revealed that Mr Ntoiti and the other petitioners were still employees of the County Government of Meru in their respective boards, and they were drawing their full employment benefits.
He further revealed that upon the issuance of the conservatory order, Ntoiti and other applicants were invited to resume work, but they declined to do so, alleging that their office door locks were changed and goons were deployed to bar their entry to their offices. The judge noted that by the time of filing this case, Mr Ntoiti and the other three applicants were still employees of the County Government of Meru; they were drawing their full salaries and other benefits; no letters of termination, deployment, or leave have been issued to them after the said court order; and no appointment letters have been issued to any other party by the governor to replace them in their job positions.
Judge Onesmus Makau, in his ruling dated 3rd March 2023 noted “As regards the merits of the application, it was submitted that the applicant has not discharged the evidentiary burden of proof that the respondents have indeed disobeyed the court order and the manner in which the orders were disobeyed”.
The final order reads “As the matters stand now, I must hold that the jurisdiction of the court was not properly invoked, and the application is struck out with costs”.