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Judge stops recruitment of water agency CEO

By Kevine Omollo | April 14th 2020

Employment and Labour Relations Court has stopped planned recruitment of National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) CEO until a case challenging the process is heard and determined.

Kenneth Mwangi, one of the applicants for the position, had moved to court claiming some of the qualifications contained in the March 25 advertisement for the job were illegal.

Mr Mwangi, in a sworn affidavit, pointed out the 15-year experience requirement in the advert was against the Water Act, which provides for 10-year experience, five of which should be in a senior management position in a public or private organisation.

He wants the illegal requirement removed, claiming the provision would cost him irreparable loss and damage as a Kenyan eligible and interested in the job.

He also noted that the advert had given a short notice for submission of applications, which was likely to disadvantage many applicants especially at this time that movement into and out of Nairobi has been banned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mwangi has listed the board of directors and the authority as the first and second respondents.

He wants the advertisement quashed and a judicial review conducted on qualification for recruitment in line with the Water Act.

Temporarily halted

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An order by Justice Onesmus Makau (left), issued by Deputy Registrar of the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi on April 9, temporarily halted the planned recruitment.

“It is ordered that leave granted herein shall operate a stay of the decision of the respondent from conducting the recruitment exercise by use of their advertisement reference number NWHSA/CEO/2019/2020/01 for the position of the Chief Executive Officer for National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority pending the hearing and the determination of the suit herein,” the order read in part.

The order also allowed Mwangi to apply for judicial review of 15 years professional experience set out in the advertisement within 21 days before the case is mentioned again. 

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