, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – A case challenging the recruitment of Principal Secretaries by the Public Service Commission has been dismissed, paving way for formal nominations by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The suit filed by the Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) was dismissed by Justice Isaac Lenaola.
COFEK had accused the Public Service Commission (PSC) of failing to involve the public when it interviewed the candidates.
It also claimed that most current PSs who are still serving had been denied a chance to participate, which was against the rules of natural justice.
According to the federation, current Permanent Secretaries who had expressed interest to continue in office were denied the chance without reasonable ground, making them suffer humiliation, loss of self-esteem which imputed negatively on their integrity.
But even as the court struck out the suit, the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) had indicated it is still investigating some of the shortlisted candidates who have integrity issues.
The commission says it had received complaints from the members of public that the whole process was not fair and transparent.
“In the recent past there have been various advertisements in the media for various positions both in the county and national governments. EACC expects that the process of selection and appointment of persons to the various positions will be carried out in a fair and transparent manner and in accordance with the constitutional and statutory provisions on leadership and integrity,” EACC acting chairperson Irene Keino said on May 16.
The PSC submitted 66 names to the president out of 155 interviewed for the job with its chairperson Margaret Kobia saying that its decision to carry out the interviews behind closed doors was undertaken to avoid making those being interviewed uncomfortable and to allow candidates to keep their competitive edge.
The PSC further defended itself from accusations that it did not follow proper procedure in recruiting individuals to be appointed as Principal Secretaries with Chief Executive Officer Alice Atieno maintaining that the list of the short listed applicants was published in the newspapers and thereafter the views of the public were invited.
Atieno in an affidavit filed in court said that although names had been forwarded to the president for appointment, the process was not complete as they would have to be vetted by the National Assembly.