, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The High Court has sealed the fate of Charles Njoroge after ruling that he was illegally re-appointed as Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) Director General last year.
Justice Weldon Korir says the decision by Information Minister Samuel Poghisio to appoint Njoroge against the advise of the CCK Board was unreasonable and illegal.
Njoroge’s reappointment was challenged in court by the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek).
In August last year, High Court Judge David Maraga halted Njoroge’s appointment at the helm of the CCK pending determination of the case by Cofek.
Justice Korir was of the view that although the minister under the State Corporations Act has the power to appoint the chief executive, he abused his power and ended up making a decision that went against the values and principles of the Constitution.
The judge held that public appointments should be made in accordance to the Constitution.
“To overrun the decision of the board, an organ which is best placed to recruit the Commissioner General, the Minister acted unreasonably and irrationally,” he ruled.
The judge criticised the minister for overturning the board’s recommendation without giving and sharing the reasons with the latter.
The judge disregarded arguments by the Minister and Njoroge through lawyer Waweru Gatonye that he was not bound by the board’s decision.
He said: “In rejecting the board’s advise the minister violated the law and failed to consider all the relevant issues.”
Gatonye had also contended that the power to appoint solely lies with the minister adding that he did not violate the law.
COFEK went to court complaining that the decision by Poghisio to re-appoint Njoroge was illegal, unjustified and in bad faith.
The federation claimed Njoroge’s relationship with the board is not good thus adversely affecting the operations and performance of the commission.