The Acting Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Ms Jennifer Gitiri, has been accused of holding multiple public appointments to the disadvantage of many deserving Kenyans.
Dr Magare Gikenyi, in a petition filed at the High Court, said Ms Gitiri had been drawing salaries and allowances from the national coffers by holding eight public appointments, a move he described as an abuse of administrative power.
The Nakuru-based surgeon pointed out that Ms Gitiri is the deputy director of the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), the corporate secretary of the same agency, the acting chief executive officer and acting secretary of the CLE, and also sits on several boards as the Attorney General's representative.
The boards on which she allegedly sits include the Kenya Law Reporting (KLR), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Witness Protection Agency and the Victim Protection Agency, representing the Attorney General Justin Muturi.
“Assuming the 1st Respondent (Ms Gitiri) qualifies to sit on any board as a representative of the 2nd Respondent (Attorney General), which is fiercely contested, I wish to point out that the 1st Respondent has no outstanding skill or extraordinary intellect that makes her better qualified than close to 800 State Counsels working in the Attorney General’s chambers who can and should similarly be appointed to public boards as a representative of the Attorney General,” Dr Gikenyi said.
The petitioner also pointed out that Ms Gitiri is conflicted in her role as director of Living Water, a private company, and KRA, while attempting to raise revenue for the two institutions.
"From the foregoing, this action by the respondents will, among other things, lead to loss of public confidence and outright abuse of administrative power to the detriment of many other Kenyans in the county," he submitted.
High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi directed him to serve Ms Gitiri and other respondents and interested parties in the case with the court papers within 14 days.
The case will be heard on February 7, 2024.
Dr Gikenyi said it was inconceivable and smacks of favouritism and cronyism for the Attorney General to appoint Ms Gitiri as his representative on five different public boards while at the same time holding four other substantive public appointments as a full-time employee of ARA and CLE.
He further said that in order to be eligible to sit on a board as the Attorney General's representative, the person must be in active and direct employment of the State Attorney's Office.
He argued that Ms Gitiri does not qualify to sit on even one board because she is a full-time employee of the ARA, which is a separate entity from the Attorney General's office.
Dr Gikenyi also said Ms Gitiri was not qualified to hold the substantive position of CEO and secretary of CLE because she did not have a PhD in law and had only joined the Bar in 2011 and therefore did not have the 15 years required by the Public Service Commission.