High Court allows Mandera executives to assume office - Daily Nation

Reprieve for Mandera governor as county ministers sworn in

Thursday July 26 2018

Mandera Governor Ali Roba

Mandera Governor Ali Roba (right) and County Assembly Speaker Mohamed Khalif on July 25, 2018 during the swearing in of county executives. They warned newly appointed ministers against engaging in corruption. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MANASE OTSIALO
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Ten county executive members vetted and approved by the Mandera County Assembly but stopped from assuming office by the High Court have at last been sworn in.

The High Court in Marsabit had earlier ruled that the approved ten names could not be forwarded to the governor for appointment and subsequent swearing in until a petition filed was heard and determined.

Mr Simba Hasheem, a political activist, moved to the High Court seeking a rejection of the nominees based on a previous report.

“These same people were vetted and rejected by the assembly and the law does not allow re-submitting of the same list for consideration,” argued Mr Hasheem.

REJECTED

In November 2017, the same list of ten was rejected by the assembly on integrity grounds but nine months later, MCAs blamed politics for their action.

When ruling on the application by Mr Hasheem on Tuesday, Judge Said Chetembe vacated the interim orders he had issued earlier barring the forwarding of the names to Governor Ali Roba.

While vacating the orders, Judge Chetembe said the candidates had legitimate expectations that they will be appointed to their respective positions and that interim orders cannot ground the whole petition.

“If there are any violations of the Constitution then the court has jurisdiction to declare the process unconstitutional at any time,” said Judge Chetembe.

UNFAIR

The Judge observed that it was unfair for the courts to keep on holding the operations of both the county assembly and executive pending the hearing of a petition.

“When the petition is heard, the petitioner will be able to evaluate the process that led to the approval of the nominees and see if the circumstances which led to rejection of the nominees had changed,” he said.

To give Governor Roba a break, Judge Chetembe ruled that he did not see a reason why he should not allow the new executives to assume office.

“As for now, I see no reason as to why the nominees cannot take their positions and continue with their work. Extending interim orders will amount to putting the expectation of the ten nominees in suspense,” he ruled.

He said in the petition initially filed and brought under a certificate of urgency, no interim orders were granted and that it was his view that the court should not be seen as obstructing operations of other arms of government.

The matter will heard on August 16, 2018 while the new executive is in office.

MINISTERS

The members who were sworn in on Wednesday include Mr Ahmed Sheikh for Public Service, Conflict Management and Devolved Units, Mr Abdiaziz Maad (Trade, Investment and Industrialisation) and Mr Ibrahim Barrow (Finance and Economic Planning).

Others are Mr Adan Hussein (Lands, Housing and Physical Planning), Mrs Shamsa Mohamed Haji (Gender and Social Services), Mrs Johora Mohamed (Agriculture and Livestock), Mr Izzudin Abdi (Education, Sports and Culture), Mr Mohamed Ali Omar (Water, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources) and Mrs Sulekha Harun who will head the Roads and Transport docket.

While presiding over the administration of oath for the county ministers Mandera Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Areri warned them that they will be punished if they break the law.

“I am here to administer the oath and anyone who will violate it will be punished,” he said.

County Assembly Speaker Mohamed Khalif said time has come for things to be done the right way.

DIFFICULT TIMES

“As an assembly, we have gone through the most difficulty times but we have finally delivered and we shall keep doing our oversight job in the best way,” he said.

Mr Khalif warned the executive against ignoring law while carrying out their duties.

“The law was not properly followed in the first term by the executive but we are hopeful that all laid down laws will be observed,” he said.

Governor Roba warned the ministers against hiding behind clannism whenever they fail in their duties.

“There is no security of tenure in this offices and no clan will retain you but your working ability,” said Mr Roba.

SERVE THE PEOPLE

He asked his new team to understand that they were hired to serve the people of Mandera and not certain clans.

“We have to do away with community protection and what happened in the first term will not happen this time around. We want to see you work for the people,” he said.

Mr Roba reminded the members that they will be held accountable for their deeds while in office.

The governor has single handed run the county affairs without an executive, something he admitted has been an uphill tusk.

He is facing another challenge as a list of chief officers for different departments is still being challenged in court.