Court overturns Ngilu’s choice for county secretary

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Court overturns Ngilu’s choice for county secretary


NGILU

Kitui governor Charity Ngilu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A court has quashed decision of Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu to appoint an officer from the Office of the President as her county secretary.
  • Justice Robert Limo said the decision to appoint and acceptthe secondment of Mr Joshua Kimwetich Chepchieng was unlawful for failing to follow procedures involved in the appointments of public officers.

A court has quashed decision of Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu to appoint an officer from the Office of the President as her county secretary.

Justice Robert Limo said the decision to appoint and acceptthe secondment of Mr Joshua Kimwetich Chepchieng was unlawful for failing to follow procedures involved in the appointments of public officers.

The judge said the governor’s action was clearly arbitrary and unilateral as she never consulted the County Assembly, which was the petitioner in the court case.

The assembly challenged the appointment arguing it was done in secrecy without following the stipulated procedures such advertisement of the post.

Justice Limo said the action was in circumvention of Sections 4 of Public Appointment (County Assemblies Approval) Act and the Procedural Requirements stipulated under Section 44 (1) and (2) of the County Governments Act 2012.

Mr Kimwetich was by then the Secretary for Administration in the State Department of Cooperatives. He was in 2017 seconded to the county government from the Office of the President, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government upon request by the governor.

In court papers he was described as a seasoned administrator and a long- serving public servant who has risen through ranks from District Officer, District Commissioner and then Office of the President.

Governor Ngilu said the appointment was justified and that it was not substantive but was temporary for a period of three years necessitated by the need to address a public need.

The County Public Service Board said attempts to get a substantive person to fill the position had been thwarted by the County Assembly whom it accused for serving self-interests rather than public interests.

It accused the Speaker of harbouring vendetta against the governor due to political rivalry. It also claimed that the, leading to the decision to seek Mr Kimwetich.

The board justified his appointment claiming that he has the requisite skills.

But the court said the appointment must be done in accordance with the law.

Justice Limo directed the governor to pay the county assembly’s costs in the case.

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