What you need to know:
- The petitioner, Evans Kipkoech says the Kenya Roads Act states that the representative of the surveyors should be competitively nominated by the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK).
- Mr Abraham Samoei is the former President of ISK, where he served for two terms.
Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen’s pick for a director at the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) Board has been challenged in court for contravening the law.
A petitioner, Evans Kipkoech, has asked High Court judge Lawrence Mugambi to quash the appointment of Abraham Samoei, the immediate former chairperson of the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK), to the roads agency board.
Through lawyer Benedict Wachira, Mr Kipkoech said that the appointment of Mr Samoei was illegal as it did not follow the provisions of Kenya Roads Act, which states that the representative of the surveyors being appointed shall be competitively nominated by the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK).
Mr Samoei is the former President of ISK, where he served for two terms which ended in June this year following a successful election where Mr Eric Nyadimo was elected to succeed him.
The petitioner, who is ISK member, says that the Roads Act states that the authority should be made up of Institution of Engineers of Kenya, Institution of Surveyors of Kenya, Kenya Institute of Physical Planners, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, and any registered public transport organization.
He says that the appointment made by the CS was a clear sign of impunity, since ISK did not make any nomination.
“The appointment of the 4th Respondent has infringed on the national values and principles of good governance such as the rule of law, democracy, equality, and participation of the people good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability,” part of petition reads.
The petitioner argues that the person who was appointed to the board does not possess the requisite professional qualifications since he is a real estate agent, yet the Act states that the appointment is reserved for surveyors.
He now wants the court to revoke the appointment of Mr Samoei, and the CS be compelled to make another appointment within 60 days and in strict compliance with the Kenya Roads Act, where the nominee should be appointed through an AGM of ISK.
Also, the petitioner adds that given that the lack of professionalism leads to loss of life and loss of taxpayers’ money due to construction of sub-standard roads in the country.
“The KURA board guides policy and provides oversight and if professionals are not appointed, we shall continue seeing the biscuit roads and the leaking airports in this country,” Mr Wachira said.
Particularly, the Roads Act provides that an appointment to the Board shall be made by the Cabinet Secretary, from among three persons nominated and approved by an Annual General Meeting of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya.
“However, no such nomination was made by the 2nd Respondent in any previous AGM, including the last AGM that was held on August 4, 2023. Further, no special AGM has been called to discuss the issue of the nomination and approval of the position in question.”
In a phone call regarding the case, KURA dismissed the allegations that Mr Samoei does not qualify for the position, adding that the CS acted accordingly by picking one name from the three options that the institution submitted to him.
The Institution of Surveyors of Kenya, the President of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya, and the Attorney General have been listed in the case as respondents.
The matter will be heard in April next year.