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Court clears man to serve UNESCO boss petition via videoconferencing

NAIROBI
By Correspondent | May 21st 2020

Court has allowed the petitioner seeking to oust the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) boss Evangeline Njoka to serve her through video conferencing.

The matter filed on Friday by Jeremiah Memba was heard today before Judge James Makau for directions. Makau ordered that UNESCO application be heard on a priority basis during the Covid-19 interruption period.

“The petition be dispensed by way of video conferencing either through zoom or skype during the Covid-19 pandemic,” added Makau. Judge Makau has also ordered that in view of Covid-19 interruption pandemic, service of the application and petition be affected through electronic means which is email, WhatsApp application or other means. Memba though his lawyer Dastan Omari is seeking orders declaring Njoka unfit to hold office for violating the law.

“We are seeking court’s declaration that Njoka has violated Articles 10, 25, 27,28,41,47,48,50,73, 75, 232 and 260 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” said Omari.

He also wants the court to declare Njoka unfit to hold any public office for violations of the constitution and Leadership and integrity Act.

The petitioner contests that in the year 2018, Njoka failed to disclose to the board that she was due for mandatory retirement upon attainment of sixty years with effect from June 3, 2020, she was offered another five-year term.

In the petition, Memba accuses Ms Njoka of numerous illegalities during her reign as the agency’s CEO. He accuses Njoka of flouting recruitment procedures, provisions of the law on conflict of interest, intimidation, mismanagement of funds adding that many senior managers have left the agency during her tenure.

"It is also noteworthy that her second reign is now dogged in controversy, the shift in carrying out the Commission’s mandate has drastically changed and veered towards succession politics," the petition reads.

 It goes on: "On September 2019 after uproars from the public were raised over bribery allegations and complaints against Njoka and three other officials of the Commission, she convened a board meeting which recommended the suspension of the three officers, pending an investigation into possible offences, disregarding the fact that she was also part of the allegations."

He says that unless the application is certified as urgent, Njoka, who he questions her 2013 appointment, will continue will continue serving despite the questions raised on her suitability.

Omari wants the matter to be heard expeditiously by way of video conferencing either through zoom or skype during the Covid-19 interruption period. The Cabinet Secretary for Education, the Attorney General and the Kenya National Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have been listed as respondents in the case.

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