Court to decide fate of 21 county chief officer nominees

Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika speaks during the distribution of relief food to various parts of the county on October 29, 2022. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

The fate of Governor Susan Kihika’s 21 nominees to the positions of chief officer will be known on Thursday, November 24, by a court in Nakuru.

Yesterday, Justice David Nderitu of the Employment and Labour Relations Court extended orders stopping the vetting of COs for further two days as he retires to draft his ruling.

The judge will rule on whether his court has jurisdiction to hear and determine the case challenging the appointment of the 21.

This is after, Kihika, Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Joel Karuri and the Attorney General challenged the court’s jurisdiction.

The governor wants the court to strike out the case and set aside its order stopping the vetting and declaring it null and void.

Yesterday the judge received a submission from the governor, Speaker, Nakuru County Public Service Board (PSB) and the AG over.

He also received submissions from Stephen Oduor and Kenneth Odongo; Nakuru residents who have challenged the appointment.

The judge noted that he needed time to go through the submissions before giving his ruling.

“The court will retire to write its ruling and deliver it on November 24. In the meantime, orders stopping the vetting are extended,” said Nderitu.

Kihika, through lawyer Munene Muiyuro, submit that the court has no jurisdiction because Oduor and Odongo did not exhaust all legal avenues before moving to court.

On their part, Oduor and Odongo moved to court to stop the vetting, saying the process of interviewing, recommending, and nominating the COs was flawed. 

The two sued Kihika, Karuri, the County Assembly, the Clerk, the AG, PSB and the county government. 

They claim the Governor, the PSB, the speaker and the Assembly illegally re-designed some of the COs, to positions that they did not apply for.

“Those who may have qualified in those posts did not have a fair competition,” they claim.