The law mandates that a legitimate board is the one to appoint Communication Authority Director General and in the absence of a board, the position cannot be filed. In an application filed by Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek), the organization expressed concerned that the CA chairman purported to appoint Ms Mercy Wanjau, as the new Director-General, to replace Francis Wangusi who is retiring, yet such a move did not conform to the law on how such an office should be filed.
Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Bryam Ongayo referring to the application has temporarily halted the exercise to allow a suit contesting the exercise to be determined.
“The recruitment, selection, and appointment process of the Director-General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is hereby suspended,” said Justice Ongaya.
Earlier on, the court had suspended the appointment of the new CA board in an urgent application filed by Activist Okiah Omtatah challenging the amendments to some sections of the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA) which he alleged were sneaked into law by Parliament through The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2018.
“It is untenable to remove the checks and balances which ensured that the Board was appointed through a process that guaranteed its autonomy as required under Article 34 (5) (a) of the Constitution,” his court papers read.
Okiah argued that the amendments make it possible for the Information Cabinet Secretary to handpick and appoint his cronies to the Board, adding that such a move will strip the Board of the autonomy required of it under Article 34 (5) (a) of the Constitution as it will be unable to discharge its mandate under the Constitution, including protection to the freedom of the media guaranteed under Article 34 of the Constitution.