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EACC has moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge a judgement of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, delivered Monday, which revoked the suspension of KETRACO General Manager Eng Anthony Wamukota.

The ruling was made in a petition filed by Wamukota.

The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission says the decision could have far-reaching implications in the ongoing efforts to combat corruption in the country.

In a Notice of Appeal filed on Tuesday, EACC says that it is dissatisfied with the Judgement of the Employment and Labour Court in the Ketraco case.

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The Commission says it may set an adverse precedent that could make it difficult to investigate top officials while they remain in office since they are custodians of crucial documents required for investigations and also supervise potential witnesses in graft cases.

Kenya Transmission Electricity Company (KETRACO) board of directors in November last year decided to suspend Wamukota for 12 months to allegedly pave the way for a probe into the Loiyangalani-Suswa power line project.

The suspension was made during a special general meeting under the express directive of the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, on recommendations of EACC

The Commission recommended the suspension of officials over what it termed as “to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations against them”.

But in a judgement delivered Monday, Justice Byram Ongaya revoked the suspension of the KETRACO official and ordered that he be immediately reinstated.

The Judge agreed with Wamukota that the company overlooked its human resource policy and procedures manual when it decided to suspend him from office.

Wamukota had argued that the mandate to hear and determine his suspension lay with the company’s HRAC (Human Resource and Advisory Committee) which never sat to make such deliberations.

Wamukota said the KETRACO board neither called him nor asked him to respond to any allegations before taking the drastic action.

The Judge in his finding cited various regulations which ought to be adhered to when dismissing or removing a public officer from office.

He said such an officer cannot be removed, demoted or subjected to disciplinary proceedings without due process of law being followed.

This, he said, was the case of Wamukota as that threshold was not met.

He subsequently directed KETRACO to revoke the suspension of Wamukota and ordered it to pay him any pending salaries, allowances and benefits accrued to him while on the challenged suspension.

EACC in its appeal, however, says that allowing any of the suspended CEOs and other senior officials back to the office could compromise the ongoing investigations.

Engineer Wamukota is among five of the suspended officials who went to Court to challenge their suspension.

The ruling in the KETRACO case is the first one while the second one is expected on April 18, 2024, in another Petition filed by Peter Gitaa Koria, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bomas of Kenya.

Source: CD 

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