The Labour Relations Court has refused to throw out a plea by Capital Markets Authority (CMA) James Ndegwa, in which he wanted an ouster case against him thrown out.
In a case filed last year, activist Okiya Omtatah wants Ndegwa and six board members thrown out since they were not recruited based on a transparent, competitive and merit-based process.
The six board members include John Birech, Freshia Mugo, George Moibi, Thomas Kibua, Christine Okoth and Peter Mungai.
Ndegwa and the board members argued that the case was not properly placed in the court, since the court lacks requisite powers to hear and determine the petition.
They argued that there is no employer-employee relationship between them and the appointing authority (President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning).
Justice Maureen Onyango, however, threw out the plea, directing that the case proceeds to a full hearing.
According to Justice Onyango, the matter concerns recruitment to a position that is remunerable and that would fall under the definition of an employee under Section 2 of the Employment Act.
In the petition filed by Omtatah, Ndegwa was accused of being a player in a market that he regulates, which amounts to a conflict of interest to the “extent that he is a public official who regulates his private businesses”.
Ndegwa is the Chairman of First Chartered Securities (FCS). FCS owns ICEA Lion, which owns ICEA Lion Asset Managers, which manages the ICEA Money Market Fund, which is regulated by the CMA.
ICEA Lion recently acquired Stanlib, hence, Stanlib Money Market Fund is also under ICEA lion. Stanlib Money Market Fund is regulated by CMA. FCS and it’s afflictions own a 12 percent stake in NCBA, which is listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Hence, NCBA is also regulated by CMA.
NCBA also runs NCBA money market fund, which is also regulated by CMA.
The Ndegwa family also owns a controlling 50.9 percent stake in the Unga Group which is also listed with the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
Ndegwa was re-appointed to be the Chairperson of the Board of CMA, for a period of three years with effect from April 18, 2018.