Court suspends vacancy notice of CA boss

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Centre in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Justice Maureen Onyango issued the order Wednesday after the lobby requested to have the recruitment process to temporarily halted on grounds that it is tainted with illegality and discrimination.

The Labour court has suspended a notice to fill the position of Communications Authority of Kenya director general.

This is after the Information Communication Technology Association of Kenya (ICTAK) moved to court accusing the communications regulator of manipulating the recruitment process “which poses a risk to fair competition and merit as the basis of appointment”.

Justice Maureen Onyango issued the order Wednesday after the lobby requested to have the recruitment process to temporarily halted on grounds that it is tainted with illegality and discrimination.

“The application is hereby certified urgent, leave granted to apply for an order to quash a vacancy notice for the position of director general or chief executive officer at CA. The leave to serve as stay of the said vacancy notice,” said Justice Onyango.

This is not the first time the recruitment of CA boss has been a subject of litigation in the corridors of justice.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya and activist Okiya Omtatah have previously challenged the recruitment process. They pointed fingers at the composition of CA’s board, which they claimed was not properly constituted.

The new director general is set to replace Mr Francis Wangusi who was succeeded by Ms Mercy Wanjau in an acting capacity. Mr Wangusi had been at the helm of CA for eight years since August 2012.

The disputed vacancy was first advertised in the local dailies in May seeking a candidate with over ten years of experience at a senior managerial position and with knowledge of CA.

The advert was re-published on June 17 and 19 in the dailies following complaints raised by ICTAK that the application period should be open for 21 days even though this was not rectified.

The lobby argues that the vacancy notice as it is discriminates against certain cadres of eligible applicants from competing for the post.

“The decision and recruitment notice by CA  is by all means ultra vires, the administrative action taken which excludes statutorily qualified citizens from competing  for the public office adversely  affects their legally embedded rights and interest  as per  Section of the Administrative Action Act,” said their lawyer Adrian Kamotho.

Mr Kamotho told court that the notice also contravenes the Human Resources policies and procedures manual for the public service which requires ministries or state departments to advertise all vacant posts in a manner that reaches the widest pool of potential applicants as well as allow at least 21 days for applying.

He also argued that the said vacancy notice did not indicate a detailed person specification and proposed remuneration as required by law.

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