Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina has affirmed the appointment of Esther Ngari as the acting managing director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) for a six-month period.
Ms Ngari has been the director of standards development and trade at the standards body.
She takes over from Bernard Njiraini whose term ended abruptly following a court ruling that his appointment to the helm of the agency was irregular.
Justice Maureen Onyango of the Employment and Labour Relations Court in May quashed the appointment of Mr Njiraini to Kebs and that of Bernard Ngore as chairman of the National Standards Council (NSC).
Justice Onyango ruled that the officials were handpicked contrary to the law, yet the process should be open to public participation.
An appeal against the judge’s ruling on Mr Njiraini is currently at the Court of Appeal.
The judge also quashed appointments of members of the board of directors of the NSC saying the recruitment was not subjected to public participation.
The members included Mary Wanja Matu, Helen Kabeti, Fouzia Abdirahman, Patrick Musiu, Edward Njoroge, Eric Mungai, Gilbert Lang’at and Rogers Ochako.
She directed CS Maina and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki to ensure that the new chairperson and new independent members of NSC are appointed strictly in compliance with the constitution and national legislation.
“I hereby appoint you as the Acting Managing Director to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) with effect from July 27, 2022 for a period of 6 months or until the Court of Appeal determines or stays the judgement of the High Court, whichever is earlier’ read part of the letter,” read part of Ms Ngari’s appointment letter.
The Ministry said the appointment after Ms Ngari was among those recommended for the role by the Kebs board, which submitted names to the CS for consideration for the role.
The new appointee has been lauded for helping create new regulatory standards in the country and becomes the second female head of the organisation.