2.The applicant seeks for the following orders;a.Spentb.Spentc.That the honourable court be pleased to vacate and set aside the order made by this honourable court on November 15, 2021 dismissing the claimant’s suit for non-attendance by the claimant’s advocates to show cause why the suit should not be dismissed.d.This honourable court be pleased to reinstate this suit and set it for hearing on merit on a date specified by this honourable court.e.The honourable court be pleased to give further orders and directions as it may deem fit and just to grantf.Cost of the application be in the cause
3.The application is supported by the grounds on the face of the application and the supporting affidavit of Milcah Kawira Kithinji, advocate. She deposes that on the November 17, 2021 they made official payment for the request of mention date. On the March 14, 2022 they were advised by the registry that the matter had been set down for a date fixing session on the March 29, 2022, at 2.30 pm. On the March 29, 2022, they logged into the court session but were advised to visit the court registry physically to follow up on the said matter.
4.He deposed that on the April 4, 2022, the court registry responded indicating that the matter was dismissed for want of prosecution with no orders as to costs on the November 15, 2021. She said she did not attend court to show cause on the November 15, 2021 and consequently the suit was dismissed for want of prosecution on account of her absence. At no point had the said email of October 20, 2021 been furnished upon them requesting that they appear before Hon Lady Justice Anna Ngibuini Mwaure.
5.She also said that the firm of the advocates is not in the habit of neglecting client matters and had they received the email requiring them to show cause, she would have attended court and the suit consequently would not have been dismissed. It is an isolated case arising out of the inadvertent mistake on the part of the advocate which ought not be visited on the client. The said dismissal for want of prosecution as under Rule 16 of the Employment & Labour Relations Rules 2016 has infringed on the rights of the claimant.
6.The delay in the prosecution was unintentional and inordinate as a result of the workings of the Court registry and Covid-19 pandemic that led to the closure of the Registry and in locating the file and issuing of the hearing date. The order of dismissal was made without any fault on the claimant’s part and the court is humbly requested to review the order and reinstate the dismissed claim for hearing.
7.The Respondent in the affidavit dated the 16th day of February 2023 deposed by Kiplangat Charles, Advocate states that the claimant’s advocates were duly served with a Notice to Show Cause dated the October 14, 2021 vide an email dated the October 20, 2021 which email was also received by his firm. By October 4, 2022 the court notified the claimant’s advocate that the suit was dismissed for want of prosecution on November 15, 2021. The purported letters annexed to the supporting affidavit were received by the firm and do not bear stamp of the court.
8.In the foregoing premises, the claimant is guilty of deliberate falsehoods, false misrepresentations and inordinate delay and is totally underserving of any exercise of judicial discretion. The suit was procedurally and validly dismissed for non-prosecution as no reasonable cause was shown by the claimant.
9.The Respondent stands to suffer irreparable prejudice if the suit is reinstated as it is his constitutional right to have the matter heard without undue delay. No reason has been given on the basis of which the court can set aside the orders dated November 15, 2021 and hence the application ought to be dismissed with costs.
10.The claimant filed the further affidavit deposed also by Milcah Kawira Kithinji advocate in which it is reaffirmed that the firm never received the Notice to Show Cause dated 14th October vides the email dated October 20, 2021. They say they only learnt of the said Notice to Show Cause and subsequent dismissal of suit on the April 4, 2022 when they sent a representative to the registry to clarify on the issue of fixing a hearing date.
11.On the April 4, 2022 the firm officially received an email from the court stating that the suit had been dismissed for want of prosecution on November 15, 2021. The firm was unaware of the said dismissal and had written to the court requesting to be furnished with a hearing date on several occasions before learning about the Notice to Show Cause and subsequent dismissal of the suit.
12.Respondent says prior to the email dated April 4, 2022, the Court had responded to their request to be furnished with a hearing date on the March 14, 2022, stating that the date fixing session with regards to the matter was scheduled for March 29, 2022. It is deposed that had they been aware of the said dismissal for want of prosecution, there would be no need for the firm to pursue being furnished with a hearing date and they would have pursued an application for reinstatement much sooner.
13.There are no submissions on the records for either of the parties.
14.The court has carefully considered the application as presented, the replying affidavit as well as the further affidavit. In my view, the only issue for determination is whether the plaintiff has satisfied this court to move it to reinstate the claim. The Court has the latitude to set aside any order given by it ex parte, so long as sufficient cause has been shown for the exercise of such discretion.
15.The rule of law on the issue of dismissal of suit for want of prosecution is provided under rule 16 of the Employment & Labour Relations Court (Procedure Rules 2016. It provides that:(1)In any suit in which no application has been made in accordance with Rule 15 or no action has been taken by either party within one year from the date of its filing, the Court may give notice in writing to the parties to show cause why the suit should not be dismissed and if no reasonable cause is shown to its satisfaction, may dismiss the suit.(2)If reasonable cause is given to the satisfaction of the Court, it may make such orders as it thinks fit to obtain the expeditious hearing and determination of the suit.(3)Any party to the suit may apply for dismissal as provided in paragraph (1).
16.In Savings and Loans Limited versus Susan Wanjiru Muritu Nairobi HCCC 397/2002, it was held that it is a basic rule that the claimant bears responsibility of proceeding with the case and that the case belongs to the litigant who has the duty to pursue the prosecution of his case taking into account the need for expeditious disposal of cases.
17.In Ivita vs Kyumbu  KLR 441 the Court set out the principles as follows;
19.The discretion is therefore intended to be exercised to avoid hardship or injustice resulting from inadvertence or excusable mistake or error but is not designed to assist a person who has deliberately sought whether by evasion or otherwise, to obstruct or delay the course of justice.
20.Court is not convinced that the reasons put forth by the Applicant sufficiently explain the delay in having the matter prosecuted. I have seen the attached Notice with service email addresses attached in the Respondent’s replying affidavit which at the very least demonstrates that the claimant applicant’s advocates were aware of the Notice and or did not exercise diligence in keeping track of the case. I will, however, in the interests of justice only allow the application so as to give the Applicant the opportunity to proceed with the claim on merit. No prejudice has also been shown that will be occasioned to the Respondent by granting the application. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 and in particular articles 48 and 50 of the constitution provide that justice should be availed to all people. In that case I will exercise my discretion and allow the suit to be reinstated and to be herd on merit.
21.The costs of this application to the tune of kshs 6,000/- to be paid to the respondent within 40 days and in default the reinstatement order will lapse.Orders accordingly.