The County Government of Embu has been instructed by the Employment and Labour Relations court in Nyeri to promptly disburse the outstanding three months’ salary owed to its County Attorney, Jeremiah Ngari Githinji.
The ruling was issued by the Employment and Labour Relations court during a session held in Nyeri on Tuesday.
.In a ruling delivered by Justice Onesmus N. Makau, the County Public Service Board and the County Government of Embu, who were named as respondents in the motion filed in August, were directed to fully compensate Githinji for the salaries unpaid for the months of June, July, and August.
Justice Makau noted that failure to comply with this directive by the set deadline of September 30, 2023, may result in the county government facing charges of contempt of court.
The matter comes up for hearing on the on the 12th of October 2023.
Githinji who is serving his third of a six year contract sought legal redress following failed attempts to internally resolve the matter.
County attorney’s serve maximum of six years, just like the attorney general.
Before joining the county government of Embu, Githinji had served as the legal advisor to the first Governor of Kirinyaga, Joseph Ndathi.
His troubles in Embu County however seem to emanate from a trend where new county governors have tended to be systematically edge out officials hired under previous regimes, especially those on definite contract terms.
It is only recently that the court of appeal reversed decision by an Employment and Labour Relations court two years earlier, to tie the tenure of county attorneys to the term of a governor, and declared that the attorneys serve their full six year contracts regardless of the transition in county administration.
The appellate court made the determination following a petition filed in Malindi against the then Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi asking the county attorney Ms. Michelle Bibi Fondo to sign a new contract following a transition after the enactment of County Attoney Act 2020.