Mary Wambui faces new hurdle in Ruto's job

Mary Wambui Mungai.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group.

An Activist has moved to court to challenge President William Ruto's decision to appoint businesswoman Mary Wambui Mungai as the chairperson of the Communication Authority of Kenya Board of directors citing a pending court case

In the suit filed under certificate of urgency at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, activist Julius Ogogoh wants the court to issue orders barring Wambui from assuming office.

He also wants revocation of the gazette notice appointing her as the newly chairperson of the CA board for a period of three years.

The Gazette notice is December 1, 2022 was issued by the President appointing Wambui as the chairperson of the Board of CA effective December 2, 2022 for a period of three years.

Mr Ogogoh through lawyer David Masake seeks to challenge the appointment on grounds Wambui has not met all mandatory requirements of the Kenya Information and Communication Act Number 2 of 1998.

He also claims Wambui has failed the integrity test on the basis of a Sh2.2 billion tax evasion case that is pending in court.

The lawsuit against her appointment to the CA came hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji failed to endorse decision of the Kenya Revenue Authority to withdraw the tax dispute case.

The DPP sought sought for another 30 days to conclude reviewing the decision of the KRA and the evidence. The case will be mentioned on January 10, 2023.

Through prosecutor Judy Thogori, the DPP told court yesterday that he has not finished reviewing the case after he received another letter dated November 23, 2022 from KRA on the progress of the out of court settlement.

"The letter by KRA indicates there is substantial progress on the out-of-court settlement that is being considered in this regard," Thogori said.

According to the activist, the President's decision to appoint the businesswoman was irregular, illegal and an abuse of the law.

"The purported appointment lacks proper legal backing and this is an abuse of the law and the specific procedures as provided for by the Kenya Information and Communication Act," Mr Ogogoh says.

He further wants the court to allow him institute a judicial review proceedings in the matter.

Wambui was appointed to replace Mr Gilbert Kibe who resigned. Notably, Mr Kibe had been appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in May 2022.

Before his appointment he, served as the Director General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) among other roles. Mr Kibe resigned hours before the head of state appointed Wambui as the agency’s chairperson.

As the chairperson, Wambui will oversee the operations at the Communications Authority.

Some of the functions include, licensing systems and services in the communication industry, facilitating the development and management of a national cyber security framework as well as facilitating the development of e-commerce.