Set Back For Sakaja As Labour Court Stops Vetting Of Cabinet Nominees

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  • Effectively, the vetting process will not proceed as scheduled until the court order is vacated – Nairobi City County Assembly Clerk, Edward Gichana.

By Adieri Mulaa

Governor Johnson Sakaja has suffered a major set back after a Labour Court halted the vetting of his cabinet  nominees by the County Assembly.

Effectively, the vetting process will not proceed today Monday, November 14th as scheduled until the court order is vacated, Nairobi City County Assembly Clerk, Edward Gichana told The Times in a brief statement.

The House Committee on Appointments chaired by Speaker Ken Ng’ondi was scheduled to commence the vetting process this morning but the exercise has been nipped in the bud.

Last week, The Association of Muslim Lawyers and The Nubian Rights Forum jointly lodged a petition in the Employment and Labour Relations Court to set aside the vetting process.

The two organisations secured a conservatory order issued by Lady Justice Anna N. Mwaure, against Governor Sakaja and Speaker Ng’ondi, who are the First and Second respondents in the matter.

“A conservatory order is hereby issued setting aside the vetting process and approval of the announced County Executive Committee Member nominees, pending the hearing and determination of the Application inter partes”, Lady Justice Mwaure ordered.

Yesterday, Speaker Ng’ondi confirmed the vetting process by the House Committee on Appointments would not proceed today as scheduled due to the court order in force.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has effectively blocked the vetting and approval of all the 10 CECM nominees to various dockets who were announced by Governor Sakaja on 26th October, 2022.

They include:

1)Mr. Charles Kerich – Finance and Economic Affairs;

2)Mr. Michael Gumo – Innovation and Digital Economy;

3)Mr. Brian Mulama – Talent, Skills Development and Care;

4)Mr. Patrick Mbogo – Mobility and Works;

5)Mr. Stephen Gathuita Mwangi – Built Environment and Urban Planning;

6)Mr. Ibrahim Auma Nyangoya – Boroughs Administration and Personnel;

7)Ms. Rosemary Kariuki – Business and Hustler Opportunities;

8)Ms. Maureen Njeri – Green Nairobi (Environment, Water, Food and Agriculture);

9)Dr. Anastasia Mutethya Nyalita – Health, Wellness and Nutrition;

10)Ms. Suzanne Silantoi – Inclusivity, Public Participation and Customer Service. 

Further, the Court also stopped vetting and approval of the County Secretary nominee, Dr Jairus Musumba and senior advisers of the Governor.

They are Mr Lawrence Wambua (Economic Affairs Adviser), Mr Elias Mutuma (Legal Adviser), Dr Samora Otieno (Health Adviser), Mr William Ndung’u ‘Fazul’ ( Political Adviser), Prof. Washington Yotto Ochieng’ (Mobility Adviser) and Mr John Mwangi Maina ( Urban and Regional Planning Adviser).

Before adjourning for a short recess on Thursday November 10, 2022, the County Assembly approved the County Government Appropriation Bill, 2022 of Kshs. 30.32 billion for the financial year 2022 – 2023.

The House Finance Budget and Appropriations Committee Committee chairman Wilfred Odalo said the Bill would enable the governor to deliver on his election pledges and enhance service delivery in the city.

But in court, Lady Justice Mwaure directed the matter to be mentioned on 21st November, 2022 for the Court to confirm compliance.

The restraining order means Governor Sakaja cannot constitute his county executive committee for the county government to effectively deliver on its mandate, unless the order is vacated.

A three day vetting process by the House Committee on Appointments was scheduled to start today 14th November, 2022 to Wednesday 16th November, 2022. 

The two organisations are challenging Governor Sakaja’s Cabinet appointments allegedly for lack of inclusivity. 

The Managing Director of the Nubian Rights Forum, Shafi Ali has reportedly faulted Governor Sakaja for not considering the community in his Cabinet appointments.

On 27th November, 2022 some Nairobi City Muslim politicians, several MCAs and a consortium of Islamic organisations threatened to challenge the governor’s appointments in court unless they were represented in the County Cabinet.

They are opposed to the governor’s nominees on the grounds that there was no nominee from the Muslim community and Nubians who largely live in Kibra constituency.

Even though, independent sources told The Times that acting behind the scenes was also a cabal of a top Somali entrepreneurs in Nairobi with vested business interests at City Hall.

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