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Petition to block Kenya Power CEO struck out

ngugi

Kenya Power managing director Bernard Ngugi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Maureen Nyambura Ngigi Warui was seeking suspension of a notice the Kenya Power board issued appointing Mr Ngugi as the managing director and CEO of the company.
  • She also questioned the fairness and impartiality of the selection process and the suitability of Mr Ngugi.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has struck out a case challenging the appointment of Bernard Ngugi as Kenya Power #tickeer:KPLC managing director.

Justice Maureen Onyango dismissed the case that Maureen Nyambura Ngigi Warui filed last December seeking suspension of a notice the Kenya Power board issued appointing Mr Ngugi as the managing director and CEO of the company.

Ms Nyambura argued that Mr Ngugi was not suitable to hold the position due to integrity issues relating to the procurement of transformers when he was the general manager supply chain.

Former Kenya Power CEO Ken Tarus, his predecessor, Ben Chumo, and several senior managers at the firm were charged entering into a contract with a private company for the supply of transformers, which turned out to be faulty.

Prosecutors said this deal also flouted procurement rules for state entities.

The petitioner had claimed that the presidential directive issued on June 1, 2018, requiring public officers, including all heads of procurements and accounting units in ministries and State corporations to step aside to facilitate fresh vetting, affected Mr Ngugi too.

She also questioned the fairness and impartiality of the selection process and the suitability of Mr Ngugi, who was appointed the managing director on October 29, 2019.

But the Kenya Power board told the court the petition was defective as the Commissioner for Oaths who commissioned Ms Nyambura’s supporting affidavit was the same advocate who signed her petition’s Certificate of urgency.

Justice Onyango concurred and ruled that a defect in an affidavit is not a mere technicality. She said it is clear from the proviso to Section 4(1) that a Commissioner for Oaths cannot commission documents in a matter in which he acts.

“An affidavit sworn in violation of Section 4(1) of the Oaths and Statutory Declarations Act is for all intents and purposes not an affidavit as envisaged by law. That this does, not represent a mere irregularity,” she said.