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Bid to vet procurement officers to wait longer

Employment and Labour Relations Court yesterday ruled that orders suspending the vetting afresh of procurement officers will remain in force pending its ruling tomorrow on whether to set aside the said orders.

Justice Onesmus Makau set the ruling date after hearing an application by the government seeking to have the orders set aside after he was informed that as of Friday 5pm, 458 public officers had voluntarily submitted their information required to the office of the President.

Makau ruled that he will render his decision on whether to vacate the orders or not issued on June 6 which temporarily suspended the enforcement of the circular on the fresh vetting of procurement officers following a suit by activist Okiya Omtatah.

The court was told that everybody will be given time to give out the required information, adding that no one would be victimised.

“According to the government, every officer will be given the opportunity to submit the information within reasonable time, the exercise is not meant to be punitive,” submitted Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto. He said the government is committed to ensure the vetting is done within the Constitution.

Omtatah opposed the government application saying that there was no public participation in the enactment of the decision and therefore the orders ought not to be vacated. “It is a fishing expedition, not provided for in the law,”said Omtatah.

The activist also took issue with the affidavit sworn by Interior Principal secretary Karanja Kibicho on behalf of the government saying that it is defective, and that he lacks jurisdiction to respond to the matter because he is not a party to the proceedings.

He further claims that the impugned circular is at variance with what the President said on Madaraka Day.

“The President did not call for the suspension or sanctioning of any public employee in any way whatsoever,” argues Omtatah.

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