The legitimacy of members of the Kericho County Executive Committee (CEC) is now in question after it emerged that they were sworn in against a court order suspending the process.
The 10 CEC members were sworn in on November 2, the same day the court issued an injunction stopping their appointment pending the hearing and determination of a petition filed by resident Rono Kibet Benard.
The petition, filed on November 2 under a certificate of urgency, challenged the list of nominees, arguing that it was unlawful.
Mr Kibet argued that the nomination, vetting and approval of the nominees were not conducted according to the law.
He told the court that members of the selection panel were not gazetted by either the County Gazette or the Kenya Gazette.
He also said the list does not represent the diversity of the Kericho population as it does not consider marginalised and minority groups and does have a representative from people with disabilities.
The court also heard that most of the nominees are public officers, contrary to the requirements outlined in the advertisement for the positions, while some have a myriad of unresolved integrity issues.
“The recruitment exercise was carried out in contravention of the Constitution with total lack of transparency and was discriminatory against other Kenyans who are qualified to apply and compete for the said appointment positions,” Mr Kibet says in court documents.
Kericho Governor Eric Mutai, the county government, the county assembly and the assembly Speaker were listed as respondents, while the 10 CEC members and the county attorney are interested parties.
Mr Kibet wants the court to quash the appointment of the CEC members and the county attorney and order a fresh hiring process.
In orders issued on November 2, Justice Hellen Wasilwa temporarily restrained the Speaker from vetting and swearing in the 10 CECs members pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
But the court was told on Wednesday that the CEC members had been sworn in though they were served with the judge’s order.
Justice David Nderitu extended the orders and allowed Mr Kibet to file and serve documents before the case is mentioned on January 23.
Mr Kibet’s lawyer, Ezra Kiprotich, said he would bring contempt proceedings against the respondents for allegedly defying a court order.