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Arrest warrant issued for registrar of Trade Unions in contempt of court case filed by KMPDU

The Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) in Nairobi has issued an arrest warrant for Registrar of Trade Unions, Beatrice Mathenge, following a case filed against her by the Kenya Medical Practitioners’ Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU).

This action stems from allegations of contempt of court orders issued earlier this year.

Justice Byram Ongaya, in a ruling delivered on Wednesday, found Ms. Mathenge in contempt of court orders related to the case.

The Judge has directed the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) at Capitol Hill Police Station to apprehend the Registrar and present her in court on Thursday morning for the case’s mention.

“A warrant is issued for the arrest and presentation to court of the Acting Registrar of Trade Unions, Ms. Beatrice Mathenge, who has been found in contempt of a court order in the judgment delivered on February 10, 2023,” ruled Justice Ongaya.

“The police officer commanding Capitol Hill Police Station is to execute the warrant and present Ms. Mathenge at Milimani Commercial Court on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. or such an earliest time thereafter.”

The case revolves around KMPDU officials who, in an affidavit sworn by Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah, claimed they were duly elected to their roles on June 11, 2022, and communicated the same to Ms. Mathenge for registration on June 13, 2022.

However, the Registrar failed to act on their request, prompting the union to approach the court in Nairobi. The court subsequently issued a favorable ruling on February 10, 2023.

“In the said judgment, this Honourable Court directed the Registrar of Trade Unions to register the officials of the appellant elected on 11th June, 2022, and communicated to the Registrar via Form Q dated 13th June, 2022,” read court documents.

Despite multiple letters sent to Ms. Mathenge, requesting compliance with the court’s orders, she did not register the union’s officials following their election.

The Registrar also failed to provide any responses in the case, leading KMPDU to file a contempt application on March 6, 2023, citing her disregard for the court’s earlier ruling.

In a previous move, the doctors’ union had sought “an order committing the Registrar of Trade Unions to civil jail for six months for acting in contempt of the judgment delivered in this matter on 10th February, 2023.”

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