, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – A case challenging recent appointments by Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has been moved to the Industrial Court.
Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi on Wednesday asked the petitioner, Clifford Keya, to serve Ngilu within the next 14 days to help in fast-tracking the hearing.
Keya moved to court to block a letter by Ngilu to the Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking deployment and appointment of senior office holders.
According to Keya, the proposals to promote, appoint and deploy public officers from or to the Lands Ministry would contravene provisions of Article 232 of the Constitution of Kenya.
The petitioner was aggrieved Ngilu’s decision to deploy 16 senior officers from her ministry to the other ministries.
Last week, the Cabinet Secretary in a letter dated January 10 to the chairperson of PSC, proposed the promotion, appointment and deploying of public officers of the Ministry of Lands.
Ngilu further recommended that Sarah Mwenda, the current Principal State Counsel be appointed acting Chief Land Registrar to oversee acting directors of survey Elizabeth Gacheha and Polly Gitimu.
The Lands Secretary called for the transfer of Assistant Lands Commissioner Joram Kimemia, Principal Registration Officer Jackson Wanjau, Kwale Senior Land Registrars Evans Marwanga and Joseph Kiprotich.
She further directed that the Kisumu Principal Land Registration Officer George Gachihi, Laikipia Senior Assistant Lands Registration Officer Lawrence Warachi and Kiambu Senior Land Registrar Jonathan Ndirangu be moved to other ministries.
Also targeted for redeployment are senior land registrars Daniel Nyantika (Nakuru), Jonathan Kimutai (Kajiado), Cecily Murage (Thika) and Renson Ongonga from Mombasa.
Ngilu’s appointments have seemingly stirred up reaction, with the National Assembly last year adopting a report heaping blame on Ngilu for the alleged unconstitutional appointments at the ministry.
The initial report by a joint departmental committee was amended to specifically place responsibility on the Cabinet Secretary for the unprocedural appointments.
The amendment was introduced by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandai and Busia County MP Florence Mwikali Mutua who urged the House to overcome political, tribal and regional interests and punish impunity.
Wandai moved an amendment to the report by the joint Committee on Lands and Natural Resources and that on Delegated Legislation reading that the Lands Secretary “should take full responsibility for the unconstitutional, illegal and irregular acts of creating offices and making arbitrary appointments, promotions and transfers in the ministry.”