The Employment and Labour Relations Court has issued an order to halt the interdiction of Dorcas Chelang’at, the Deputy Principal of Moi Girls High School, Nairobi. Chelang’at was accused of allowing hawkers into the school compound.
Justice Byram Ongaya issued orders preventing Margaret Nyaggah, the school Principal, from interdicting and evicting Chelang’at from the staff quarters until the court makes a decision on the case challenging her interdiction.
Ongaya stated that the interim order suspending Chelang’at’s eviction from the Staff Quarter’s House, as well as the attendant interdiction, should be extended until further orders from the court.
Chelang’at was interdicted on June 23, 2023, by the Principal, who claimed that she had allowed strangers into the school compound for hawking on March 15, 2023. Additionally, Chelang’at was accused of failing to set up a public address system within two hours during an AGM meeting on March 16, 2023, resulting in a disorganized event.
The interdiction letter stated that Chelang’at had breached a clause of the TSC Act by failing to submit a report on ongoing investigations to the TSC Nairobi Region office on May 24, 2023, thereby showing insubordination towards the Principal.
Chelang’at, represented by her lawyer Alex Masika, challenged the Principal’s decision in court, deeming it unlawful and unconstitutional.
Masika argued that the Principal had interdicted Chelang’at without constituting an investigation panel or providing a report, as required by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Code of Regulations for Teachers.
Masika informed Justice Ongaya that Nyaggah had interdicted Chelang’at after unsuccessful attempts to have TSC transfer her from the school.
The lawyer argued that the Principal and the school’s Board of Management exceeded their powers by interdicting the deputy principal without a report from the investigation panel.
He asserted that the appropriate action should have been a warning letter, as outlined in Regulation 155 of the Teachers Service Commission Code of Regulations for Teachers.
Chelang’at also protested the eviction from her school-rented house on July 3, 2023, which occurred shortly after her interdiction.
According to her, regulations stipulate that the Teacher’s housing arrangement should not be interfered with during interdiction, and the full house allowance should be paid until the case is resolved.
The Principal and the Board of Management, represented by lawyer Martin Munene, requested the judge to set aside the orders issued on July 4, 2023, arguing that Chelang’at’s case was premature. Munene claimed that the eviction order is linked to the interdiction according to TSC regulations.
The TSC lawyer stated that it is unreasonable to suspend a deputy principal based on allegations of failing to set up a public address system within two hours during an AGM.
However, the judge granted TSC fourteen days to complete the disciplinary process against Chelang’at, with a decision to be presented in court on July 27, 2023.