Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe awaits a jail term from the court later this month after he was found guilty of contempt in his focus on trying to transfer two senior officers of an agency under his ministry.
The ruling by Justice Onesmus Makau marked a significant escalation in the tussle between Mr Kagwe and the two senior officers of the National Quality Control Laboratory (NQCL), Dr Hezekiah Chepkwony and Dr Pius Wanjala, whom he sought to transfer.
“The Honourable Cabinet secretary, Mr Mutahi Kagwe, is hereby cited for contempt of this court’s judgment/decree dated January 31, 2020, for his decision contained in the letter Ref: 1991082265 dated June 12, 2020, deploying Dr Hezekiah K. Chepkwony from the National Quality Control Laboratory to the Kenya Medical Training College,” Justice Makau ruled.
The CS has been summoned to appear before the judge virtually, either personally or through his lawyer, on July 23 “for mitigation and sentencing.”
The court has also declared “invalid” the transfer letters to Dr Chepkwony and Dr Wanjala, seconding them to KMTC and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Dr Wanjala, who was expected to report to MTRH has been allowed to pursue further contempt proceedings against the CS.
On January 31, the Labour court stopped former Health CS Sicily Kariuki from transferring the doctors; they filed a petition to stop the move.
They cited skills mismatch, disregard of court orders and little time to hand over and report to the new stations.
The doctors told the court that, the ministry delivered their transfer letters, dated June 12, on June 16 at 2pm, requiring them to report to their new stations the following day.