Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir sued over cabinet composition 

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir. 

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Four Mombasa residents have taken governor Abdulswamad Sherrif Nassir to court over the appointment of 10 County Executive Committee (CECs) members saying he flouted the constitutional employment ratio.

According to Abdullmajid Ali, Mesh Mwaniki, Maria Magdalene and Mohamed Mohsin, the nominations and appointment of the executive committee members does not meet the threshold for employment of local people.

The County Government Act, 2012, proposes that 70 per cent of jobs will be given to the locals of a county and 30 per cent reserved for experts from outside.

“The governor, being the appointing authority, shrouded the appointment he made with a lot of secrecy in total offence of the constitution and all relevant law,” said the petitioners.

They argue that in line with law relating to appointments in the public service, the appointing authority has to ensure that the same are a result of a fair and transparent competitive process.

The 10 chief executive committee members were appointed on January 15.

Through Shabaan Associates LLP, the petitioners have also argued that the appointment of the 10 to was done in contravention of the two-thirds gender rule on public appointments as there are only two women nominees in comparison to eight men on the team.

The  petitioners have also raised concerns over the appointment of the County Attorney Jimmy Waliaula, whom they said has held the position in an acting capacity for the last 10 years.

“Appointment of Mr Waliaula offends the law as he was meant to serve for the term that commensurate with that of the first regime, whose term expired upon assumption of office of the current governor.

They also argue that such appointments ought to be subjected to public participation as rightly envisioned in the law.  

Based on these arguments, the petitioners want the court to issue conservatory orders against the appointments until the issues raised in the application are heard and determined.

They have also asked the court to restrain the county assembly from debating, vetting and or approving of the nominations of the 10 county executive members as appointed by Mr Nassir pending the hearing and determination of the case.

“The petitioners pray that this court do issue an interim order of injunction restraining the nominees from taking office as appointed by the governor on January 15, pending the hearing and determination of this application,” they said.

They also want a declaration that the appointment of the 10 county executive committee members and the county secretary was not open, fair ,transparent , competitive and subjected to public application.

Governor Nassir unveiled his 10-member team of county executives last week to help him govern. He has been under intense pressure from all quarters including from civil societies to name his cabinet.

In the appointment, Mr Nassir appointed his deputy Francis Thoya to head the Environment and Solid Waste Management docket, a position he has been holding briefly since they were elected.

Others appointed are Emily Achieng (Water Natural Resources and Climate Change Resilience), Kenneth Muigai (Public Service Administration, Youth, Gender, Social Services and Sports) and Kibibi Abdallah (Blue Economy, Agriculture and Livestock.

There is also Mohammed Osman (Tourism, Culture and Trade), Dr Mbwarali Kame (Education and Digital Transformation), Evans Oanda (Finance and Economic Planning), Dr Swabah Ahmed (Health), Daniel Otieno (Transport and Infrastructure).
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