The employment and labor relations tribunal summoned the director general of the National Employment Authority, Edith Okoki, for mitigation and conviction for disobeying an order to renew the registration certificate an employment broker, Al Hujura Agency Limited.
Al Hujura director Susan Wanjohi called for “enforcement and protection of the dignity of the court and the rule of law” after Ms. Okoki failed to register the broker despite a court order.
The company’s certificate had already been renewed in 2014.
In her response to the contempt request, Ms. Okoki acknowledged that the court had ruled in favor of the company requiring her office to issue a renewal certificate.
Notice of Appeal
She said, however, that the government agency was not satisfied with the court’s judgment and filed a notice of appeal and requested court proceedings to allow it to prepare an appeal dossier.
“The respondent is ready and willing to comply with the judgment and orders of the court at the earliest, but is unable to do the same since her hands are bound by the law which requires that the contemplated appeal be filed, heard and determined. “she said.
Judge James Rika nonetheless found Ms Okoki in contempt of a court order dated May 29, 2020 and demanded that she appear in person for sentencing on a date set by the deputy court clerk.
He said it was unfortunate that Al Hujura Agency Ltd was denied a renewal certificate, despite convincing the court that it had up to 300 job vacancies in Saudi Arabia, that visas travel documents were being processed and that applicants had been trained by accredited trainers.
“This is an extremely shocking and bold admission of contempt, coming from a government agency, which claims to act on the advice of the Attorney General of Kenya. In living democracies, the Attorney General should be the guardian of constitutionalism and primacy. of the law, ”said Judge Rika.
He added: “The attorney general, a prominent and respected lawyer, who has served the bench as an appellate judge, should be firmer in advising the government to obey the court’s rulings, to avoid drift. towards chaos and the death of the rule of law that the government seems to have adopted.
The company told the court it incurred costs for visa processing and the applicants’ passports, and paid Sh 1,068,000 in medical examination fees.