Bomet governor sued over suspended county employee

Bomet County medical services Chief officer Dr Bernard Sowek has ignited a legal battle with Governor Isaac Ruto for allegedly having him suspended from his job for failing to campaign for his political party.

In his suit filed against the governor and the county’s Secretary as well as head of Public Service, the doctor claimed that Mr Ruto had him suspended over malicious and unfounded falsehoods.

Through lawyer Nelson Mutai, he claimed that he has suffered extreme agony and anguish yet he has never absconded duty or acted in a negligent manner while doing his job.

While challenging the June 5 decision to send him on suspension on grounds that he was absent without official leave between May 24 to that date, Dr Sowek also claimed that the resolution contravened the Public officers Ethics code of conduct and reasonable fair administrative action.

“Following his decision not to campaign for the governor’s party but instead dedicate time to delivering his duties as required, he has not been in good books with his superiors who have since then vowed to relieve him of his duties,” said Mr Mutai.

NOT HAPPY

He disclosed that between 2015 and 2016, the governor has been preparing for his re-election bid and has therefore been using county officials to popularise himself and the political party he intends to be elected on.

He alleged that some people were not happy with the move because they felt that their choice to support any political movement had been threatened.

Dr Sowek claimed that he was also accused of engaging in partisan politics by openly declaring defection to another political party which amounted to gross misconduct as required of a public officer.

Dr Sowek argues that he was never accorded a chance to defend himself and that efforts to have the suspension decision cancelled have proved futile.

Besides the suspension, he does not receive his salary or allowances.

“I verily believe that the said decision, to the extent that were reached without disclosure of the specific particulars and evidence of the complaints, was in total violation of the law as well as biased,” said Dr Sowek.

He wants the court to compel the sued parties to have him reinstated in accordance with the terms and conditions of his employment contract.

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