Court declines reinstatement bid by fired authority's board

Communication Authority of Kenya board member Wilbert Choge at Gigiri Police Station on April 17, 2016 after being arrested on allegations of causing disturbance at the Authority's Nairobi offices. Mr Choge has zealously fought for reinstatement. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The orders had charged CA and the appointing ministry with contempt and directed that Spring Valley Police be summoned to ensure the defunct board was back in office. 
  • The board led by Mr Wilbert Kipsang Choge, one of the members who has zealously fought for reinstatement, will now stay away from office as ruled by the Industrial Court.

The disbanded Communications Authority of Kenya board has lost its bid to remain in office following a court ruling reversing an order to allow the seven-member team to continue serving.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court on Monday dismissed orders made by Justice Monica Mbaru on Thursday last week.

The orders had charged CA and the appointing ministry with contempt and directed that Spring Valley Police be summoned to ensure the defunct board was back in office. 

Justice Abuodha Jorum Nelson in his ruling stated that the “allegation for contempt of court is a serious one,” adding, “the police should never be enlisted to secure compliance by the applicant…..there is a specific provision for enforcement of injunction under order 21 rule 28 of civil procedure ruling.”

“The consequence of all these is that applicants misled Lady Justice Mbaru in making the order she made on April 21, when they knew the court through my ruling made on April 15 had declined jurisdiction. The said orders are therefore hereby discharged,” said Justice Abuodha.

In his earlier ruling, he had washed his hands over the issue of the CA board stating that the Industrial Court has no jurisdiction to make judgment on the issue.

Justice Abuodha said that this is because the matter was still pending in the Court of Appeal and had not been withdrawn.

The board led by Mr Wilbert Kipsang Choge, one of the members who has zealously fought for reinstatement, will now stay away from office as ruled by the Industrial Court.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said that following the ruling by Justice Abuodha, the ministry which is the appointing authority will settle on recruiting a new board to ensure that CA continues with operations without interruptions.

The CA board has been involved in back and forth battles since October 2014, when the Secretary General of the ICT Association of Kenya, Kamotho Njenga, filed an application in court challenging the legality of its constitution.

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