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Registrar of Trade Unions faces contempt charges in KMPDU case

Beatrice Mathenge, the Registrar of Trade Unions, is currently facing the possibility of a six-month jail sentence for contempt of court in connection with a case brought against her by the Kenya Medical Practitioners’ Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU).

The case revolves around allegations from KMPDU officials that they were duly elected to their roles on June 11, 2022, and promptly communicated this fact to Ms. Mathenge for registration on June 13, 2022.

The Registrar did not fulfill her duty to register them, prompting the union to escalate the matter to the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi.

On February 10, 2023, the court issued a favorable ruling in favor of KMPDU.

Court documents reveal that, despite the court’s explicit judgment, Ms. Mathenge did not comply with the order to register the duly elected officials of KMPDU.

In response, KMPDU sent numerous letters urging her to fulfill the court’s directive, but their appeals were seemingly ignored.

With the Registrar’s lack of response and compliance, KMPDU decided to take further legal action. On March 6, 2023, the union filed a contempt application against Ms. Mathenge for her disregard of the court ruling.

The application implores the court to summon Beatrice Mathenge to explain her actions, highlighting her alleged contempt of the court’s judgment delivered on February 10, 2023.

KMPDU also seeks a six-month jail term for the Registrar, requesting the court to order her incarceration for not adhering to the judgment.

The union is resolute in seeking enforcement of the court’s decision.

Justice Byram Ongaya, presiding over the matter, has taken the issue seriously.

In a recent development on August 9, he directed Beatrice Mathenge to personally appear before the court and demonstrate her compliance with the earlier court orders.

Failure to do so could lead to sentencing for contempt.

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