Court stops recruitment of new CA boss, Wangusi reinstated

The court has stopped the recruitment of Director-General of Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Mercy Wanjau, following her appointment by CA’s Chairman Ngene Giktuku.

Employment and Labour Relations Court on Tuesday gave orders stopping the recruitment exercise until the case is heard and determined. CA appointed Miss. Wanjau on August as acting Director General to replace Francis Wangusi.

Before Judge Byrum Ongaya, lawyer Githu Muigai who acted for CA told the court that the outgoing Director General Francis Wangusi could not be reappointed in an interim capacity since his tenure ended on August 22, 2019.

 “The law is very clear. We cannot have him sitting in that position while he is enjoying his pension,” he said.

The firm remains to be in balance and will be forced to continue with Mr. Wangusi until the dispute is settled, according to the ruling by the Labour Relations court on Tuesday.

On August 23, Mr. Wangusi said he was not going to handover to his successor Mercy Wanjau. Mr. Wangusi said that the board had rejected Wanjau’s appointment.

“It is sad that a few people with selfish interests are forcing a person to head such a vital government institution,” Wangusi said. Adding that his term ended on Wednesday but there was no clear communication to who he should relinquish the mantle

According to Mr. Wangusi, he learnt of Miss Wanjau’s appointed through the media reports on Thursday morning. The announcement was executed by the firm’s Chairman Ngene Giktuku at the headquarters.

The rot at the Kenya’s Communication centre is not new, with series of cases having been presented in courts with appointments having been done in a controversial way.

In a separate suit filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, Justice Maureen Onyango in a ruling dated August 16 said the appointment of Mahmoud Noor, Paul Mureithi, Jackson Kemboi and Laura Chite to the board was not transparent.

As a result, she prohibited CA from implementing a gazette notice dated July 18 appointing the four to the board.

She said granting the orders will enhance the constitutional values and objects of the freedom of the media through checks and balances, public participation, transparency and inclusiveness.

The four were appointed to the board by the Information AND Communication Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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