Politics and policy
Judge sends six Coffee Board of Kenya directors packing
Posted Monday, May 28 2012 at 21:48
A Nairobi court has thrown out directors of the Coffee Board of Kenya, barely a week after clipping the powers of the Commissioner for Co-operative Development to determine where farmers deliver their coffee.
Mr Justice David Majanja last Friday sent six board directors, whom Agriculture minister Sally Kosgei appointed in December, packing and termed their nomination unconstitutional after farmers complained of being denied the right to elect directors.
The minister was found to have contravened Article 10 (2) and 47 (1) of the Constitution when she named the directors through a Kenya Gazette notice of December 1, last year.
Mr Mathew Ndege, Mr Eldad Mpengu, Mrs Matanda wa Wabuyele, Mr Kuria Kimamo, Mr Ernest Saina and Mr Jack Kimuri were to serve at the Coffee Board of Kenya for three years.
Although the minister was legally entitled to make the appointments, Mr Justice Majanja noted that she ought to have acted in a manner that conformed to the Constitution.
“How the minister achieves this constitutional purpose is within her powers and the court can only intervene when the appointing authority does not use a rational procedure to fulfil national values and principle,” he said.
The judge added that it was not enough for the minister to argue that she acted in accordance with the law as she should have demonstrated that she acted in line with the Constitution.
The new laws, the judge ruled, signifies the end of “jobs for the boys” era. He said that the Constitution had set out the values that must be infused in all decision making. The Nyeri farmers had filed the petition raising various legal queries.