Okiya Omtatah in bid to uproot Mahamed Fazul from NGOs office

Thursday December 7 2017

Mohamed Fazul

NGO Coordination Board Executive Director Fazul Mahamed. The Ombudsman declared him unfit to hold public office. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Activist Okiya Omtatah has moved to court seeking to block extension of NGO Coordination Board CEO Fazul Mahamed’s term.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court sitting in Nairobi on Wednesday certified the application as urgent.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa further directed Mr Omtatah to serve Mr Mahamed and Interior acting Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i with the court papers ahead of the hearing on December 18.

3 YEARS

Mr Omtatah moved to court arguing that the government was committing an illegality by continuing to retain Mr Mahamed in the public service, even after the expiry of his tenure.

He stated that Mr Mahamed’s tenure expired on November 24, and he remains in office illegally.

“The irregular retention of the interested party in the public service beyond his contractual term has blocked the advancement of other deserving Kenyans who are qualified and would vie for the position were the vacancy be advertised for the competitive recruitment of the new executive director,” Mr Omtatah says in a sworn statement.

Mr Mahamed was appointed the CEO of the Board on November 24, 2014, for a period of three years.

CIRCULAR

The activist states that under Mwongozo (the Code of Governance for State Corporations) issued jointly by the Public Service Commission and the State Corporations Advisory Committee in January 2015, CEOs are required to serve three-year terms or as otherwise provided under any other written law.

The term, according to the guidelines, is renewable once subject to performance evaluated by the board.

Through a circular dated October 23, 2010, exiting CEOs of public bodies are required to go on a six-month terminal leave pending the expiry of their contracts, and acting CEOs are to be appointed in the transition period.

Mr Omtatah said the court should uphold the rule of law by ordering Mr Mahamed out of office, and directing the government to recruit his replacement in accordance with the law.

He said Mr Mahamed ought to have been sent on terminal leave and an acting executive director appointed by June 23, 2017.