Governor pleads not to be jailed in officer sack case

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Governor Samuel Ragwa on Monday pleaded with the court to spare him a six-month jail term after he was found guilty of contempt.

Returning to court 10 days after he was found guilty, Mr Ragwa said he was “extremely remorseful and apologetic” after a judge found him guilty of disobeying orders to reinstate the County Secretary, Dr Fredrick Njeru Kamunde.

Through his lawyer Murango Mwenda, Mr Ragwa told Mr Justice Byram Ongaya he had already reinstated Dr Kamunde to his job in line with the orders given by the court. He said he never intended to disobey the court or undermine its dignity or authority.

“The Governor regrets the turn of events; he says he is extremely remorseful and will request that the court take his apologies,” said Mr Mwenda.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court found Mr Ragwa guilty of disobeying orders restraining him from sacking Dr Kamunde.

The governor had written a letter lifting Dr Kamunde’s suspension on March 14 and directed that he be allocated a suitable car, the lawyer said.

He also directed that Dr Kamunde be paid his salary arrears.

Mr Mwenda argued that the Governor has humbled himself, apologised and corrected his mistake and should be spared jail term.

But the application was opposed by Dr Kamunde’s lawyer, Mr Munyori Karanja, who argued that Dr Kamunde was yet to be reallocated a car and his guards had not been paid their salaries,  for which the judge gave a March 30 ultimatum.

“Because of the Governor’s conduct, we pray that he be jailed,” the lawyer argued.

Mr Karanja told the court that the governor has continued to disobey court orders and should be punished until he fully complied.

He added that, despite there being court orders, the governor has continued to frustrate Dr Kamunde.

“There is no evidence of frustration of the petitioner by the Governor; he will be given full support to work as County Secretary,” said Mr Mwenda.

Mr Justice Ongaya ordered the Governor and Dr Kamunde to return to the court to confirm full compliance of his orders.

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