Former County Executives sue Kidero over wrongful dismissal
Former Nairobi County Executives John Gakuo and Timothy Kingondu have sued governor Evans Kidero for sacking them barely one and a-half years after their appointment.
Mr Gakuo and Dr Kingondu want the court to reinstate them on grounds that they were wrongfully dismissed in a mini reshuffle last October, or have the county government pay them each about Sh17 million for the 42 months that remained before the end of their five-year contracts.
The two say in court papers that Dr Kidero did not give them reasons for sacking them, contrary to Kenyan labour laws.
They earned a monthly basic salary of Sh300,000 with gratuity of Sh1.1 million per year, which was based on 31 per cent of their annual pay. They also enjoyed medical cover.
Dr Kidero replaced Mr Gakuo with Dr Bernard Mugenyo and Dr Bernard Muia took over Dr Kingondu’s docket.
The governor at the time insisted that the executives had resigned, with Dr Kingondu confirming that he had left the position to pursue other interests.
“On the morning of October 7 I was called by Dr Kidero into his office and verbally informed that my services were no longer needed and my salary had been stopped. To date I have never received any termination letter and neither do I know the reasons for my termination,” Mr Gakuo says.
“I had committed my salary to various projects and have to outsource to service loans which is difficult without meaningful salary. I have had to undergo grave professional humiliation and serious mental anguish,” he added.
The two have enjoined City Hall in the suit.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi on Tuesday told them to serve City Hall and Dr Kidero with the suit papers.
Dr Kingondu says his sacking was similar to Mr Gakuo’s. City Hall in October maintained that the two had handed in their resignation notices without indicating the reason for their departure.
Mr Gakuo had since declined to discuss the circumstances of his departure until yesterday when he filed the suit.
SLOW SERVICE DELIVERY
The reshuffle came nine months after the Assembly put several members of Kidero’s executive, including Mr Gakuo and Mr Evans Ondieki, on notice over slow service delivery in their dockets which was hampering the county government’s overall performance.
Dr Kidero said in a Press statement that the reshuffle was meant to address lax service delivery to Nairobi residents.
Prior to his appointment, Mr Gakuo served as Town Clerk in the defunct Nairobi City Council, while Dr Kingondu was a director in charge of prison health at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Both Mr Gakuo and Dr Kingondu say Dr Kidero did not follow the guidelines provided for in sending them home, and insist they did not commit any offence to warrant their sacking.
Critics described the sackings as political, pointing at the recent failures of some members of the executive who were spared the axe.
Mr Gakuo was also in the driving seat of City Hall’s proposed multi-billion shilling project to convert the Dandora dumpsite into an energy generating plant.
The project has received the green light from the Treasury’s Public Private Partnerships Unit.
It has so far attracted the interest of big financiers such as the German Sustainable Energy Management firm.