By Evelyn Kwamboka
The High Court has stopped Communication Minister Samuel Poghisio from gazetting the re-appointment of the Communications Commission of Kenya Director General, Charles Njoroge.
The High Court’s interim order leaves Mr Charles Njoroge in office without any official confirmation to the post.
The Order came after a successful application by Mr Ibrahim Athumani, who argued that the minister’s move ignored CCK board’s decision on Njoroge’s performance.
Justice Daniel Musinga issued the stoppage order yesterday on grounds that the minister may gazette the name before the application on the injunction is heard on June 14.
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He also ruled that Njoroge be served with the suit papers, since the orders will also affect him directly.
"It is important that he be given a right of hearing," Justice Musinga said. The order came after the Attorney General’s office asked the court to adjourn the case because it had not received any instruction from the minister.
In the case, Athumani, told the court that the minister has defied the board, and reappointed Njoroge for a second term as the CCK Director General. It is alleged that the board advised the minister after evaluating Njoroge’s performance for the year 2008 to 2010 at CCK.
Athumani claimed Njoroge missed the pass mark by 10 per cent, a performance that forced the board to recommend for the termination of his contract.
"The members agreed that the minimum pass mark would be a score of 70 per cent and above. Mr Charles Njoroge scored 60 per cent,. which was way below the expectations of a CEO of a regulatory body in a dynamic industry such as this one," he claimed.
This, he said, is against directives issued by the Office of the President’s letter to ministers, their assistants, Permanent Secretaries, the AG and Controller and Auditor General.
Yesterday, Athumani’s advocate, Ms Judy Guserw, told the court that it is only the board that has powers to evaluate the CEO’s performance.
According to OP’s letter, it is the board to evaluate the performance of the CEO, and make a report to the appointing authority — with recommendation on either renewal or termination of the contract upon expiry.
In the case, Athumani wants the minister’s April 7 decision, in which he purported to have renewed the CEO’s contract, quashed.
Njoroge joined CCK in 1999, and was first appointed CEO in July 2008. Until his appointment, Njoroge — who is an economist — was the Director in charge of Competition, Tariffs and Market Analysis.a