Outright tyranny, blatant abuse of the laid rules, laws, procedures and office. Rampant abuse of the law courts by senior civil servants is ruining the careers of highly promising brilliant junior civil servants in the country civil service.
There may be thousands of such brilliant and promising civil servants whose lives and professional futures have been
irrevocably ruined because of these illegal practices by highly placed civil servants who are still abusing the system and getting away with it.
A classic example is that of Sylvanus Barasa Ouma who joined the civil service in 1979 as a clerical officer in the then ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons and because of his brilliance rapidly rose to become a gazetted District Registrar of Persons – the future looking limitless.
Mr. Ouma’s nightmare erupted in November 2006 when he received a telephone call from the Officer Commanding (OCS) Garissa Police Station while at his station of work in Kisumu as District Registrar of Persons.
According to documents in our possession, the then Garissa OCS wanted him to travel to Garissa town from Kisumu to assist his investigating officers to identify some stores that had been found dumped at an un-used market stall at Soko Mugdi in Garissa town.
The document dated July 23rd, 2007 addressed to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons reads in part: “The OCS believed that the stores belonged to the office of the District Registrar of Persons of the then Ijara District. Ijara was my immediate former station where I had worked as a District Registrar and for that the OCS thought I could easily identify the found stores than anybody else.”
Without knowing the terror ahead of him, Ouma obediently traveled all the way across the country to Garissa believing he was only going to perform his duty as expected of him as per the request from the Garissa OCS.
“As a humble Civil Servant I reported to the OCS as per his request only to be arrested and to my surprise I was charged in a court of law,” says Mr. Ouma whose nightmares of trials and tribulations that have lasted more than a decade were just beginning.
In court he was charged with stealing by a person employed in the public service without even the facts being established. He was accused number three with two others who were facing other different charges in the same court before the then Garissa Senior Principal Magistrate S.M. Kabunja.
Ouma’s ordeal was just beginning to intensify because soon thereafter the Garissa District Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO) wrote a letter the Principal Registrar of Persons in Nairobi falsely alleging that he had been arrested and charged with assumption of authority and forgeries of 36 Identification Cards application forms Reg. 136 A which was completely wrong.
That letter immediately triggered the interdiction of Ouma from work in a letter which was written on June 4th, 2007 and signed by the Actg. Principal Registrar of Persons Mrs. R.M. Kimotho in which she declared that during his period of interdiction Ouma will be receiving only half of his basic salary.
The letter reads: “Following your arrest and subsequent arraignment before Garissa court on November 28th, 2006 on charges of assumption of authority contrary to section 104(c) of the Penal code, you are hereby interdicted with effect from November 28th, 2006.”
“You are accused of making massive forgeries on Thirty six (36) Reg. 136A records of applicants Somo Mugdi in Garissa town. You registered the applicants in Garissa town as opposed to Ijara District,” Mrs. Kimotho documented in her letter. Totally failing to take note of the fact that Ouma had already been transferred from that station all the way across the country to Kisumu more than 1000 kilometres away.
Despite the fact that the civil service regulations require that an employee in the service shall remained interdicted until when the case against him or her in the law courts is heard and determined and found guilty his or her employment terminated but if acquitted or found innocent re-instated to his or her job the permanent secretary’s office was already threatening to sack Ouma less than ten days after getting the interdiction letter.
On behalf of the Permanent Secretary Mrs. J.K Gichomo on June 13th, 2007 wrote to Ouma demanding to show cause why he should not be dismissed from his job despite the fact that the court had heard and determined the case and also that Ouma had never faced any disciplinary action of any kind before this frame up.
Mrs. Gichomo wrote: “Due to the seriousness of this offence, it is being contemplated to dismiss from the service on the account of gross misconduct before this cause of action is taken, you are required to show cause why you should not be dismissed.”
She went on: “Your representations should be received in this office within a period of twenty one (21) days from the date of this letter failure to which the contemplated action will be taken without any further reference to you.” And with that the dye was cast and the fate of Ouma’s brilliant and promising career in the civil service was sealed.
Despite the fact that Ouma responded with a detailed factual defence on the matter pointing out that the case was yet to be determined by the Senior Principal Magistrate of Garissa, his pleas fell on deaf ears worse still even after he was found innocent and acquitted the bosses in his ministry went ahead and sacked him without paying even the half salary that he was entitled to.
As we went to press, Ouma who was never reinstated to his job was still desperately trying to fight for his rights that were crudely and blatantly abused by the mafia like dons who people the senior positions of the country’s rotten civil service.