, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 22 – Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi has applied to the Industrial Court to have the order reinstating COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Board set aside.
The Cabinet Secretary through lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi told Justice Monica Mbaru, that the Industrial Court lacks jurisdiction to suspend the gazette notice which retired Atwoli from the NSSF board.
He said that the order of suspension was issued contrary to the provisions of Article 162 (2) of the Constitution which takes away the power of the Industrial Court to interfere with functions of the Cabinet Secretary.
The judge has now directed the application be served upon COTU and Atwoli before the matter is heard inter-partes on Friday to determine the constitutional issue raised by the minister over the jurisdiction of the court.
On Monday, Justice Mbaru suspended the gazette notice removing Atwoli and Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) CEO Jacqueline Mugo from the NSSF board pending the hearing of his application challenging the minister’s powers.
This was after a suit was filed by COTU which wants Atwoli reinstated to the board of trustees.
An activist, Charles Omanga has also filed a separate suit against Kambi, arguing that the Cabinet Secretary’s actions were unconstitutional.
Kambi retired Atwoli and Mugo last Friday arguing that they had overstayed at the board contravening the new NSSF Act, having served for 15 and 11 years respectively.
The two however argue that they have fresh three-year mandates starting January this year when the new NSSF Act came into force.