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Mutahi Kagwe risks spending 6 months in jail after court finds him guilty

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is starring at six months in prison after the Labour and Employment court found him guilty.

Justice Onesmus Makau found Kagwe guilty of a court contempt in an ongoing case. The CS transferred senior officials at the National Quality Control Laboratory (NQCL). This was despite the courts prohibiting him from doing so.

Justice Onesmus found him guilty on July 9, 2020, and ordered Kagwe to avail himself on July 23, 2020, for sentencing. According to the judge, the CS should avail himself either personally or through a lawyer.

“The Honorable Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, is hereby cited for contempt of this court’s 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 Kenya Medical Training College,” read part of the court orders.

CS Kagwe is now risking to either face a six-month jail term or pays a KSH 200,000 fine or both.

Kagwe’s mistake.

CS Kagwe started the process of transferring Hezekiah Chepkwony, NQCL’s Chief Executive Officer alongside his deputy director Pius Wanjala. He was moving them to the Kenya Medical Traning College (KMTC). However, the courts barred him from continuing with this process after an injection was obtained.

The CS, however, went ahead and effected the transfers despite the courts barring him. He appointed the two at the NQCL. Kagwe further frustrated NQCL board management’s efforts to try and solve the matter amicably.

“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,” Justice Makau noted.

Adding,

“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.”

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