By Ronald Owili
Suspended National Irrigation Board General Manager Daniel Barasa has moved court challenging his suspension.
Through his lawyer Gladys Mwangi and Company, Barasa argues that his suspension was conducted in breach of the law and the terms of service for employees of the state corporation and wants his suspension lifted unconditionally to pave way for reinstatement.
Barasa has been at the helm of National Irrigation Board since 2008.
On 21st of April, the National Irrigation Board after convening a special board meeting suspended general manager Barasa, his deputy Mary Chomba and procurement manager Boaz Akello over financial mismanagement among others misdeeds for a period of six months to pave way for investigation by the anti-graft officials.
Barasa was replaced by Raphael Ogendo in an acting capacity. Following the suspension, Barasa through his lawyer challenged the decision four days later arguing that the suspension contravened articles 10, 47 and 232 of the Constitution and terms of services.
According to Barasa, there was never any notice of a special board meeting on the said date which undertook the decision, but instead arbitrarily converted a full board meeting into a special one, in breach of the law disregarding agenda of the day.
Barasa also argues that he was never served with a Show Cause letter prior to his suspension; hence the decision was un-procedural and unjustified.
This is also on the basis that a ruling made by the High Court in Kisumu also found the board chaired by Dr Sammy Latema to be lacking capacity to convene any meeting as it is not properly constituted.
In the application, Barasa wants the Industrial Court to lift the suspension and reinstate him without any conditions pending an inter parties hearing and determination of the application and restrain NIB from appointing any person to the position in an acting capacity.
Attempts by Water and Irrigation cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa to reinstate the suspended GM overruling the board’s decision has also been opposed by a section of legislators.