The Labour Court has revoked Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia’s decision to appoint three people from the same ethnic group to a State agency.
Macharia had appointed Mary Waithigieni Chege, Zachariah Karenge Mungai and Ronald Ndirangu Ndegwa as members of the Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (Namata) Board for a period of three years.
Justice Nzioki wa Makau argued Macharia’s appointment fails to represent the diverse of Kenyan ethnicity.
“The interested parties subject of this suit (Chege, Mungai and Ndegwa) are all from one ethnic community and do not represent the diverse fabric that is the Kenyan nation. Their appointment therefore smacks on the evils of old which Kenyans opted to do away with in the Constitution we took on for ourselves in 2010,” said the judge.
The Judge further noted that their re-appointment failed to meet the substantive and procedural, constitutional and statutory requirements applicable in Public Service Appointments.
The case was filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), who argued that the appointments of Chege, Mungai and Ndegwa were made in violation of key tenets of law including public participation.
Additionally, they argued that the appointment failed to conform to Article 10 of the Constitution on national values and principles of governance which include social justice, inclusiveness, equality, transparency, accountability, human rights, non-discrimination and fair administrative action.
Namata was created by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017 through an executive order which was tasked with providing the metropolitan area with a world-class public transport system.
The authority covers Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Machakos, and Kajiado counties.
Currently, it is undertaking the 27-kilometre BRT project alignment along Thika Road from Ruiru to Kenyatta National Hospital through Nairobi CBD.