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Court nullifies Njoroge’s appointment

By - | May 18th 2012 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By JUDY OGUTU

The High Court has quashed appointment of Charles Njoroge as Director General of Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

Justice Weldon Korir Thursday nullified the decision by Information Minister Samuel Poghisio, saying although he had power to appoint Njoroge he abused the said powers.

The judge took issue with Mr Poghisio for rejecting the recommendation of the CCK board.

A consumer lobby group had gone to court to challenge the minister’s decision to re-appoint Njoroge.

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Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) through lawyer Henry Kurauka sought to quash the minister’s Gazette notice, which had appointed Njoroge for a period of three years.

The judge also lauded Cofek for filing the application, saying it should be congratulated for being vigilant.

“They represent the majority of Kenyans who watch helplessly as the rulers lord over them,” he said.

The respondents had accused Cofek of being driven by malice in filing the case. The lobby group had argued that the minister’s decision was illegal, unjustified and in bad faith as he had acted unilaterally and in disregard of the Constitution.

But Poghisio defended his move, saying he had reasons for overturning the board’s decision not to have Njoroge re-appointed.

Poghisio denied breaching the law saying he had the power under the Information and Communication Act to appoint the director general.

He added that as much as he had considered the board’s decision, he re-appointed Njoroge for different reasons.

Poghisio informed the court that there were wrangles in the CCK board and there were differences between the board’s chairman and Njoroge.

The respondents also accused the lobby group of abusing the court process as there was another case pending before the Supreme Court on the same issue. They also submitted that Cofek had not pinpointed sections of the law allegedly contravened by the minister.

On his part, Njoroge, through his advocate Waweru Gatonye, had submitted that failure by the petitioners to disclose material facts to the court was a deliberate attempt to conceal a relevant matter and purporting to “act in the public interest”. In the ruling, the judge dismissed the reasons advanced by Poghisio, saying they came too late in the day.

Justice Korir also noted that the chairman of the board alone does not make decisions and that the board is capable of making independent decisions.

Meanwhile, CCK has given Royal Media Services 30 days to surrender 24 frequencies it assigned itself without following laid down licensing procedures.

CCK said the illegal use of the frequencies across the country was affecting the quality of signals offered by other broadcasters.


 


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