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Court stops promotion of prison wardens

The High Court has extended orders stopping promotion of prison wardens today.

Justice John Mativo last week issued the directive in a case in which prison wardens sought to stop their employer from enforcing the promotions.

CORRUPTION

The judge had first issued the orders on March 22 when the wardens moved to court claiming due process had not been followed.

Through their lawyer John Swaka, they alleged that the exercise was marred by favourism and nepotism.

Corruption, they claimed, also rocked interviews for the promotions in January before a shortlist was released on March 16.

They alleged that the list of promotion contains names of friends and relatives of the directors and top officials of the Prisons Department.

JAIL OFFICERS

And Justice Mativo consequently issued an order barring the Commissioner-General of Prisons Isaiah Osugo from promoting or in any way dealing with the names of those released for promotion until the dispute is determined.

Owing to fears of being victimised since the case had been filed by two officers on behalf of the rest, the judge warned top officials of prisons from transferring the applicants.

“An order be is hereby issued restraining  the Commissioner General of the Kenya Prisons Service or any other person acting on his or her behalf from victimising, reshuffling, transferring and relocating  the wardens herein pending  the hearing and determination of this case,” Justice Mativo said.

The court, the judge said, will not hesitate to jail officers who may issue threats or victimise their juniors for filing the case.

GRADUATES

The prison wardens have accused their employer of gross violation of the law and promoting incompetent and inexperienced staff.

They argued that unless the court intervenes, the Prison Service would continue to deteriorate for lack of qualified staff.

“They are aggrieved and dissatisfied with the Kenya Prisons Service since some graduate wardens have been in service for more than 10 years without upward mobility or salary increment,” Mr Swaka said.

“… the promoted officers do not possess the relevant qualifications either academically or from job experience.”

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