City Hall in limbo as court halts investigation of CEC candidates


City Hall in limbo as court halts investigation of CEC candidates


Governor Johnson Sakaja. NMG PHOTO

Operations at City Hall have been halted due to court orders suspending background checks on the 10 County Executive Committee members nominated by Gov. Johnson Sakaja, a judge heard Monday, as the governor defended the alleged exclusion of some groups. minority.

Governor Sakaja, through attorney Dancan Okatch, told Judge Anne Mwaure that the orders have greatly undermined the planned vetting process as former CECs are unable to play any role in county government, which stop the business.

Urging the court to lift the orders, Okatch told the Employment and Labor Relations Court judge that operations are at a standstill because the governor does not have his own executive committee.

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The provisional orders were issued on November 8 following a lawsuit filed by the Muslim Lawyers Association and the Nubian Rights Forum.

Lobbying groups went to court arguing that they were unrepresented as no individual from the Islam group was shortlisted, even though they contribute 30 per cent of Nairobi City County’s GDP.

They criticized the governor’s nominating list of 10 CECs and nine other high-level employees in his cabinet, claiming that no individual from the Islamic group was shortlisted.

But Governor Sakaja says he publicly announced a list of candidates for county executive committee members and advisers to the governor, contrary to the petitioners’ allegations that he did not make the list public.

According to Mr. Sakaja, he has the discretion and freedom to nominate and appoint anyone as a member of the County Executive Committee, as long as the person meets the necessary qualifications for the position.

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Likewise, that article 27 of the Constitution provides for equal treatment including the right to equal opportunities in the political, economic and social spheres and equal protection and equal benefits.

However, he says that the Constitutional Article should not be interpreted to mean that the governor has a duty to include everyone in his appointments, considering that there are more than 47 tribes and more than five religions in Nairobi.

“We even have atheists who have come together as an association. It may be worth noting that there were only 10 slate slots for the County Executive Committee member position, making it humanly impossible to include all 47 tribes and all religions in Kenya. No matter how many other opportunities are seized, it will be virtually impossible to include them,” Governor Sakaja stated in his response to the lawsuit.

He continued: “The mere fact that the petitioners claim to contribute 30% of Nairobi City County’s GDP is not even supported by any documents, evidence, survey or data. In any case, that is not even a mandatory consideration.” when a governor is making the decision of the people who can push his agenda forward and help him deliver on his commitments and promises to the residents of Nairobi County.”

He says that once the court strikes down the orders, the list of nominees will be subject to vetting by members of the County Assembly, which is typically an open and transparent process.

“Therefore, such a request by the petitioners is premature and an abuse of the judicial process; nominees must be vetted by the County Assembly and such nominations will only be valid with the approval of the County Assembly,” Mr. Sakaja said. to court. .

The Governor further claimed that the petitioner’s agenda in the lawsuit is to create a rift between the county’s religions or even to create an imagined rift between him and Nairobi’s Muslims.

“It is in the interest of justice and equity for this court to quash or quash such orders as soon as possible or dismiss the application as the great city of Nairobi County will be at a disadvantage if it does not start the investigation process,” said the Mr. Sakaja.

Judge Mwaure will decide whether to lift the orders on Tuesday of next week.

Nominees at the center of the contention include Charles Kerich, who has been appointed CEC for Finance and Economic Planning, Brian Mulama (talents, skills, development and care), Patrick Mbogo (mobility and works) and former Lands CEO Stephen Mwangi (buildings). and urbanism).

Others include Ibrahim Auma (administration and staff), Rosemary Kariuki (finders and business opportunities), Maureen Njeri (Green Nairobi), Anastacia Mutethia (health, wellness and nutrition) and Susan Silantoi (inclusivity, public engagement and customer service).

On the list, the son of former Westlands MP Fred Gumo, Michael Gumo, was appointed CEC for Innovation and Digital Economy, while Musumba remained as county clerk.

Governor Sakaja also appointed David Njoroge as his chief of staff, Lawrence Wambua, former CEC for the Environment, as his adviser for economic affairs, Elias Mutuma (legal adviser), Samora Otieno (health adviser), William Ndung’u ‘Fazul’ (political advisor) and Washington Yotto Ochieng as his mobility advisor.

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