Court quashes decision by CS Munya to suspend Nzoia Sugar MD Michael Makhoha

Milimani Law Courts

High Court has temporarily quashed the decision by Agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya to suspend Nzoia sugar Managing Director.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Onesmus Makau quashed the decision to suspect Michael Makhoha and also prohibited the intended handing over the office of the Managing Director, Nzoia Sugar Company Limited to Dr. Chrispine O. Omondi to act as the Managing Director. 

“The leave granted above shall operate as stay of the impugned decision pending hearing and determination of the intended application,” ordered Justice Makau. 

Through lawyer Bryan Khaemba, Makhoha moved to court to challenge decision by the CS and block the intended handing over of the office to Omondi saying it contradicts the State Corporations Act.

Makhoha argues that he stands to suffer irreparable harm, which is of the most severe nature as the said letter from the CS to illegally suspends him from office and requires him to hand over duties to Dr. Chrispine O. Omondi.

“Unless this matter is urgently heard and determined, the ex-parte applicant will continue to be subjected to an illegal process, prejudiced and embarrassed both in his professional and social standing,” added his lawyer . 

The court heard that Makhoha was the duly appointed as the Managing Director of Nzoia Sugar Company Limited on 14th July 2019 by the Board of Directors of the company and has lawfully been discharging his duties as required in that capacity ever since.

However, the CS, through a letter to dated 7th June 2021 suspended him from office for a period of three Months effective from 10th June 2021 to pave way for investigations into allegations of misconduct.

The applicant argues that the alleged complaints as stated by the Respondent were from various stakeholders and leaders from that region, alleging financial impropriety, non-payment of farmer’s arrears amounting to more than Sh 700 million and withholding of staff salaries to the tune of approximately Sh 2 billion.