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HomeTSCTeachers Win Court Battle Over TSC Disciplinary Panel Composition

Teachers Win Court Battle Over TSC Disciplinary Panel Composition

TSC Delegation of Authority Ruled Invalid in Teacher Disciplinary Cases

Teachers Win Court Battle Over TSC Disciplinary Panel Composition

Teachers have won a significant victory in court as a judge has nullified decisions made by disciplinary panels that are not chaired by a member of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

The ruling stated that a disciplinary panel must comprise at least one commissioner who should also chair the session.

The judgment is expected to impact numerous past disciplinary cases conducted by county directors of the TSC or other officials in the management.

The TSC, in a resolution passed at a meeting held on May 14, 2020, had resolved that hearing of all categories of discipline cases except for reviews be heard by the management.

However, Justice Byram Ongaya, who was ruling on an employment dispute pitting the TSC against one of its staff in the secretariat, stated that the authority of the TSC members cannot be delegated.

The TSC Human Resource Manual provides that the disciplinary panel must be chaired by a commissioner.

The judge held that a disciplinary panel without a member of the Commission is improperly constituted and its decisions are null and void.

He was ruling on a petition filed by Rose Mwende Mutisya, a TSC secretariat officer, through lawyer Njeri Ngunjiri in August 2022 after being sacked over irregular promotion of teachers.

An internal audit report disclosed irregular promotion of 22 teachers in the payroll. The said teachers were promoted without any documentary evidence of approval in their files.

Staff took advantage of the high number of teachers approved for promotion to irregularly introduce additional promotions into the payroll system.

TSC constituted an investigation committee whose report recommended five employees who had previously been warned or cautioned on account of erroneous salary adjustments and subsequent overpayment be subjected to disciplinary action.

Ms Mutisya was one of them. She was interdicted on December 16, 2021. The disciplinary panel constituted to hear the case was chaired by Mr Kenneth Marangu, an employee of TSC.

It had four other members and none was a commissioner. The panel found guilty Ms Mutisya of the alleged offences and recommended her dismissal from work and recovery of a sum of Sh410,183 overpayment as per the payroll.

Her lawyer sued, stating that the panel was constituted improperly as it violated clause 119(2) of the TSC HR Manual. In court, the TSC confirmed that Mr Marangu was not a member of the Commission.

The court found that Ms Mutisya was discriminated against because she was dismissed while other officers culpable in similar circumstances were either suspended or warned. The dismissal was deemed excessive and was set aside. The court ordered her reinstatement.

In conclusion, the ruling has set a precedent that disciplinary panels must be properly constituted and chaired by a commissioner in line with the TSC Human Resource Manual.

This decision is expected to impact the management of disciplinary cases within the TSC and could lead to a review of previous disciplinary actions conducted without a commissioner present.

It also highlights the importance of ensuring fair and impartial proceedings when it comes to disciplinary actions taken against employees.

Teachers Win Court Battle Over TSC Disciplinary Panel Composition


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