The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi has for the second time halted efforts to recruit a person to replace former electoral commission Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba (pictured).
Barely two months after the court took the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission back to the drawing board for failing to adhere to the law in the recruitment, it has again ordered that interviews of 10 shortlisted candidates should not proceed.
Justice Byrum Ongaya, in a case filed by a lawyer’s lobby, Chama cha Mawakili, ordered the commission to halt its recruitment process until the case is heard and determined.
"Pending the hearing of the case, there be stay of the process of recruiting, selecting, interviewing, appointing or otherwise filling submission for the vacancy in the office of secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the second respondent (IEBC),” ordered Justice Ongaya.
In the previous case, the Labour Court forced the IEBC to re-advertise the position after finding that it had breached its own rules by requiring all applicants to get clearance from, among other agencies, the National Intelligence Services (NIS).
Justice Hellen Wasilwa observed that IEBC’s advertisement calling for applications contained more requirements than what is provided for in its employment law.
“On the face of it, it appears that the advertisement needs to be subjected to the test by this court before the process continues," the judge ruled.
The first petition had been filed by a man named Henry Mutundu. According to Mutundu, the requirements set by IEBC were unfair and against the law.
He said the IEBC wanted a person who had a 15 years' experience, as against the set threshold of five years.
Mutundu also claimed that another requirement for applicants to seek clearance from security agencies amounted to incriminating applicants before they are tried before a court of law. According to him, information held by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and NIS cannot be used to determine whether one was clean or unclean for the top job.
IEBC is looking for Chiloba’s replacement after a dramatic sack that involved court cases.