The Employment and Labor Relations Court has nullified the appointment of Bernard Njiraini as Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Bureau of Standards, terming it unconstitutional.
This after a petition by Okiya Omtatah challenging the appointment saying Njiraini was ranked 6th in the interviews conducted by the Public Service Commission and was therefore not eligible for appointment.
In her Judgement, Justice Maureen Onyango said, “The preference of the 14th respondent (Njiraini) over the best 3 candidates has not been satisfactorily explained. The same was in violation of the policy to pick from the best three candidates who scored the highest in the interviews. I find that the appointment Njiraini as CEO of KEBS was in violation of the constitution and government policy on recruitment of CEOs.”
At the same time the Court has has quashed the appointment of the of the chairperson and independent members of the National Standards Council.
Justice Onyango said the appointments were irregular, unlawful, invalid and unconstitutional as the Cabinet Secretary for Industry and Trade handpicked the said persons contrary to the law.
Justice Onyango said the law requires that a public office be filled through a transparent competitive, inclusive and merit based recruitment process open to public participation.
“An order is hereby issued quashing the appointment of by the first respondent (CS Trade) and the gazette notifications of the said appointments of Bernard M Ngore as the chairperson and Mary Wanja Matu, Hellen Kabeti Nangithia, Fouzia Abdirahman, Patrick Musila, Edward Njoroge, Eric Mungai, Gilbert Langat, and Rogers Ochako Abisai as independent members of the National Standards Council,” She ruled.
In his petition, lawyer Okiya Omtatah argued that the appointment of Ngore to chair the Council was in conflict of interest as he is the CEO Top Quality motors and is involved in the importation of motor vehicle spare parts.
Justice Onyango has now directed the CS Trade, the Public Service Commission, the State Corporations Advisory committee and the Attorney General to ensure that the chairperson and members of the NSC are appointed in compliance with the constitution.
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