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Nurses’ union chair accuses Panyako of funds misuse

A showdown is expected at a Nairobi court Monday when lawyers for top officials of a nurses’ union face off in a case where the chairman John Biiy wants secretary-general Seth Panyako stripped of his post.

The two top leaders of the Kenya National Union of Nurses are feuding over Mr Panyako’s interest in politics as he has announced he will run for the Kakamega senator seat in the August General Election.

Mr Biiy accuses Mr Panyako of misusing the union’s resources, more so a car belonging to union, for his political campaigns.

He filed the case on January 27 at the Labour Relations Court through lawyer Mageto Bitange.

Mr Bitange listed instances where Mr Panyako has allegedly made suspicious payments from the union’s accounts, dismissed staff, disbanded three branches, made unsubstantiated claims against Mr Biiy among others.

The advocate convinced Lady Justice Monica Mbaru to suspend Mr Panyako until Monday and to bar him from taking part in any transactions of the union.

“In the interim, Mr Panyako be ordered to forthwith surrender official vehicles of the union namely: Toyota Prado registration number KCC 757R, Toyota Noah registration number KBV 269N as well as a laptop, iPad, the office smartphone … and the same be handed over to the union,” Justice Mbaru’s order read in part.

In response, Mr Panyako wants the entire case struck out.

His lawyer Judith Guserwa filed a preliminary objection with the court on Friday.

“What we are raising are two issues. first, the lawyer who has filed it is not formally on record. He has not filed a change of advocate. Technically, he cannot file,” Ms Guserwa told the Sunday Nation on Friday.

“Two, in the main statement of claim, Mr Biiy has not raised anything about himself. He’s very busy saying ‘employees were suspended, the union did this, did that’ but he does not support the orders he is seeking now,” she added.

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