Sakaja ‘terminates’ Nairobi County Attorney Lydiah Kwamboka’s employment contract
The future of Nairobi County Attorney Lydiah Kwamboka at City Hall is up for speculation.
A letter from acting County Secretary Patrick Analo addressed to Ms Kwamboka indicates she has relinquished her role following the expiry of her term of office.
“We are grateful for the service rendered to the County during the transitional period following the lapse of your Employment contract dated October 2019 on the 31 December 2022. The Office of the County Attorney and the legal sector has grown and continues to be a critical arm of the County Executive. Following the appointment of an Acting County Attorney, you are now requested to officially hand over,” part of the letter signed by Mr Analo reads.
He added that her terminal dues will be computed in accordance with her contract.
The statement has heralded confusion however, as a separate communique shows Ms Kwamboka’s term was renewed for a further three years by former Governor Ann Kananu in July 2022.
“Your term of service has been extended accordingly to six years with effect from commencement of the Office of the County Attorney Act 2020 i.e.13th July 2020,” letter seen by Nairobi News from the former governor reads.
The changes comes as the County Attorney’s office and that of Finance Chief Officer Asha Abdi differs over payment of legal fees which s party of the pending bills.
In the recent appearance before the County Assembly Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs (JLAC) chaired by Jared Akama, the Attorney informed the committee that her roles were usurped by the CO, who went ahead to pay the firms which owes the county huge amounts, contrary to her advice which was targeting to clear pending bills from firms with small amount.
The Attorney questioned the criteria used by Ms Asha’s office in determining matters to be paid despite the sector having a budget to settle the small matters and what happened to the allocated budget of Sh60 million.
She argued that Section 27 of the County Attorney Act gives her office the mandate to manage its budget.
“The office wishes to express its disappointment and frustration over the subject matter for reasons that the failure to settle all the approved bills despite there being a budget does injustice to the huge pending legal bill,” Ms Kwamboka said through a letter dated August 2 addressing Finance Chief Officer.
The county’s legal pending bills stands at Sh21 billion, out of the total Sh100 billion pending bills that the county owes to suppliers and service providers.
This comes as detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) continue to investigate the payment of millions of shillings to nine companies by the county’s Finance department.
The detectives said the nine companies did not provide any services or goods to the county government, yet they were about to receive millions of taxpayers’ money.
Kwamboka’s dismissal leaves the JLAC committee in a catch 22 situation, as it had just started investigating the matter involving the two rival offices, and both the Attorney and the Finance Chief Officer were due to appear before the committee at its next meeting.