Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe was on Thursday found guilty of contempt of court after disregarding an order that prohibited him from transferring two officials at the National Quality Control Laboratory (NQCL).
Kagwe will be sentenced on July 23, for transferring NQCL Chief Executive Officer Dr. Hezekiah Chepkwony and Deputy Director Dr. Pius Wanjala on June 12, against a court order.
Chepkwony was transfered to the Kenya Medical Training College while Wanjala was sent to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
That the Honorable Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Mutahi Kagwe, is hereby cited for contempt of this court’s judgment/decree dated 31.1.2020 for his decision contained in the letter Ref: 1991082265 dated 12.6.2020, deploying Dr. Hezekiah K. Chepkwony from the National Quality Control Laboratory to Kenya Medical Training College, a ruling by Justice Onesmus Makau read in part.
Justice Makau termed the violation as deliberate, and disregarded CS Kagwe’s appeal since the Court of Appeal was yet to stay or suspend the orders.
The deliberate violation of the Judgment is evident as NQCL’s Board of Management made efforts to address the issues relating to the two, these efforts are demonstrated by the fact that the Board put up an advert on 6.6.2020 advising the media to stop publishing falsehoods against Chepkwony and Wanjala. In its letter dated 8.6.2020, it sought to meet the CS for a discussion on the media reports, its mandate, challenges and the way forward but no meeting took place, the judge noted.
Kagwe now risks six months in jail if the Labour Court sentences him to civil jail for disobeying court orders.