By JUDY OGUTU
The High Court has stopped the appointment of radio presenter Caroline Mutoko as the chair of the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC).
Justice Cecilia Githua on Tuesday suspended the gazette notice through which Tourism minister Dan Mwazo appointed Mutoko, and members Mr Vincent Watti, Ms Dorah Waruiru, Mr Vincent Mwalenga Mwakia and Mr Nassir Ali Said.
Mutoko was also blocked from becoming a member of the board of Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels.
A person appointed as chair of KTDC automatically becomes a board member of the government owned Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels. Mwazo had replaced the whole team that Najib Balala left at KTDC.
KTDC chairman Mohamed Shaiya complained that the minister acted illegally. Shaiya’s lawyer, Hassan Lakicha, told the court that the minister’s action was unconstitutional and must be quashed.
Breach of law
“The first respondent is morally and legally obligated to uphold the rule of law which enjoins him to comply with and respect the Constitution, statues as interpreted by the courts. His action against the applicants is a gross transgression of the law,” Lakicha told the court.
He said the minister never informed the complainant that he planned to publish a gazette notice revoking his job.
“This non-disclosure is in breach of the cardinal rules of natural justice which provides that no person is to be condemned unheard,” the lawyer said. He argued the minister’s actions were informed by political ill will and malice.
It is public knowledge that Balala was sacked from the job after disagreements with Prime Minister Raila Odinga and replaced with Mwazo who is a close ally of the PM.
“The revocation of the appointment of the applicant contained in the notice 10231 and 10235 of July 20, 2012, special issue Vol. CXIV-No. 69 is not based upon any basis of facts or law.” The applicant’s lawyer was ordered to file and serve a substantive motion within 21 days. The case will be mentioned on September 25.
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