A case has been filed in court challenging the appointment of six Kenyans to four State agencies under the Ministry of Labour.
A lobby group led by East African Students Union President Antony Manyara alleges that Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui failed to follow the law when he appointed Isaac Chebon, Luka Kipkemei, John Saiyaton, Paul Kibet, Limo Kipkorir and Nicholas Kokita as members of the Hotel and Catering Trade Wages Council, Maritime Wages Council, Oils Gas and Mineral Extraction Industry Wages Council, and Protective Security Wages Council, respectively.
The minister announced the appointment of the six through gazette notices on October 6 and 7, 2021.
In the petition filed at the Labour and Employments court in Nairobi, Manyara and Kevin Koome argue that the appointments were done secretly and were driven by ulterior political and tribal motives.
“The appointment was done without identifying the appointees through a fair, open, competitive, merit-based process, and without considering ethnic and regional balancing,” reads the petition in part.
Notably, all the six appointees are from Chelugui’s Kalenjin community.
Manyara, who also doubles up as the President of Kenya Universities Student Union (KUSU) and lobby group Youth Advocacy Africa, wants the court to declare the appointments unconstitutional.
“The petitioners seek an order declaring that the appointments are unlawful, irregular, null and void and contravene the Constitution of Kenya,” the petitioners argue adding that the six are “unqualified, unsuitable and unfit to serve in the appointed positions.”
Further, the petitioners want the court to bar Chelugui’s appointees from resuming office pending hearing and determination of the petition.
The youths also want the court to declare that the appointments for the six positions must comply with mandatory provisions of public appointments through parliamentary approval.
“The petitioners want the court to declare that the six appointees do not meet the constitutional, statutory and standard requirements to be appointed to the respective positions,” reads the petition.
“…The petitioners urge the court to direct the respondents to ensure that future appointments strictly adhere to the constitutional requirements.”
Chelugui, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and the Public Service Commission are listed as respondents in the case certified as urgent by Justice Anna Mwaure.
In orders issued on October 28, Justice Mwaure ordered the applications and replies be made within seven days.
The case will be mentioned on November 10.