A retired military officer has sued President William Ruto and Attorney-General Justin Muturi for revoking his appointment as the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) board chairman, in a suit that could have implications on recent appointments by the new administration.
Captain Paul Rukaria, a retired commissioned officer of the Kenya Defence Forces, had been appointed by former president Uhuru Kenyatta on August 5, 2022 — four days before the Presidential elections —for a term of three years.
President Ruto, however, revoked the appointment through a gazette notice dated February 6, 2023. He replaced him with Hussein Tene Debasso, who was vying for Isiolo's 2022 governorship race.
He wants the appointment of his successor suspended pending the hearing of the suit and eventually nullified and he is reinstated to the position.
He has sued President Ruto in his personal capacity as the first respondent in the suit.
The mandate of the KNTC is to stabilise consumer commodity prices by ensuring a balance in supply and demand through the availability of products in the country and undertaking procurement agency services for the Government and general public at a minimal fee.
Mr Rukaria claims that there was no consultation with State Corporations Advisory Committee before the revocation of his appointment.
"Section 7 (3) of the State Corporations Act is clear that before the President can revoke the appointment of any Board member, there have to be cogent reasons for the said revocation and that the same must be subjected to consultation with the state Corporation Advisory Committee," says Mr Rukaria.
He says the President violated the Constitution and the Act and that he could not appoint Mr Debasso because at the time there was a substantive office holder of the position.