, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Two youths have moved to the High Court to challenge the removal of Gor Semelang’o as chairperson of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF).
Evan Mburu and Joseph Kibathi took issue with the manner in which Semelang’o was removed from office, arguing that his rights as enshrined under Section 35 to 39 of the Public Officer Ethics Act were violated.
“The decision was illegal, made in abuse of power and is tainted with unreasonableness and procedural impropriety,” they state in their petition.
They want him reinstated into office pending hearing and determination of the suit.
One of the procedural improprieties they raise includes backdating of Semelang’o’s removal from office to February 28 in a gazette notice dated April 7.
In addition to suing the Attorney General of Kenya, they have sued Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru whom they accuse of bias against Semelang’o.
They content that if Semelang’o’s removal from office is left to stand, it would set a bad precedent as far as removal of public officers from office is concerned.
“Unless the move is overturned, the respondents’ action is going to create precedence for public officers to violate the Constitution with impunity and damage Semelango’s reputation,” they argued.
Semelang’o, who was appointment YEDF Chairperson by former President Mwai Kibaki, had two more years left to serve before President Uhuru Kenyatta revoked his appointment and replaced him with Bruce Odhiambo.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 (2) (a) of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Order, 2007, I, Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces appoint Bruce Odhiambo to be the Chairperson of the Board of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund,” the April 7 gazette notice read. READ: Bruce Odhiambo replaces Semelang’o at Youth Fund.
Prior to being appointed the chair of YEDF, Odhiambo was a director of Infinity Business Solutions (IBS) Consulting Services.
“We work with you to develop firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace. The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Minority/Women owned Small business (M/WBE) programs provide a vehicle to assist firms in increasing the utilization of disadvantaged businesses in local, State, federal programs and private sector corporations,” his LinkedIn profile reads.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi certified Mburu and Kibathi’s application as urgent and directed that it come up for mention on May 7.