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Court suspends Edward Gichana's appointment as Nairobi Clerk

Tuesday July 28 2020
ngwele

Embattled Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele. EACC had affirmed that his appointment was within the law and that he is legally in office. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has suspended the appointment of Edward Gichana as the new Nairobi County Assembly clerk.

It has suspended last week’s gazettment of Mr Gichana by Speaker Beatrice Elachi as the new clerk to replace clerk Jacob Ngwele, pending the determination of an application filed in court by Mr Ngwele.

Mr Ngwele had gone to court yesterday seeking a conservatory order quashing the appointment of Mr Gichana on July 24, 2020 pending hearing and determination of his suit.

In the petition filed on July 26, 2020, Speaker Elachi has been listed as the first respondent while the Assembly’s service board is the second.

“It is hereby ordered that the appointment of Edward Gichana as clerk of the Nairobi County Assembly with effect from July 23, 2020 as published by the first respondent in the Kenya Gazette No.5072 of July 24, 2020 is hereby suspended pending inter partes hearing of the application herein,” the order by Lady Justice Maureen Onyango read in part.

Mr Gichana was sworn in by Ms Elachi on Friday in a closely-guarded ceremony that was attended by only a single member of the board.

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He had emerged tops out of the 11 applicants shortlisted by the board for the Assembly Clerk position. This was after a vacancy announcement three months ago with an advertisement made last month.

However, the choice of the former Nairobi County Head of Internal Audit as the new Clerk has divided both the Assembly and the board.

EACC CLEARANCE

Nonetheless, Speaker Elachi maintains that Mr Ngwele is a “visitor” at the Assembly.

This is despite the fact that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) affirmed Mr Ngwele’s appointment as above board.

The verdict followed investigations by the Commission spanning seven months after Speaker Beatrice Elachi invited the agency to investigate his appointment. 

In a letter addressed to the Speaker, EACC confirmed that Mr Ngwele’s pick was within the law. 

After EACC's clearance, the embattled Nairobi Clerk returned to his office last week after months of being locked out.

Ms Elachi and Mr Ngwele have not see eye-to-eye in the past. The two were involved in a protracted row that began after a fallout in early 2018.

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