A court battle over staff appointment in Nairobi County Assembly is brewing with the Speaker being accused of hiring excess hands for his office.
In the case filed before High Court judge Mugure Thande, the speaker is said to have hired twelve members of staff instead of the five as required by the law. Francis Owino, an activist, said Kennedy Ng’ondi had violated the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) circular that places a limit on the number of employees in his office. Owino asserted that Ng’ondi allegedly employed three personal drivers, three secretaries, and a communication officer who is supposedly an ex-Member of the County Assembly (MCA) from the Gatina Ward.
“The Petitioner alleges that the Respondent, who also holds the position of chair of the County Service Board, hired 12 people in an irregular and illegal manner to work in his office. This is true despite the fact that the County Speaker’s office is only permitted a maximum of 5 staff members by the Salaries & Remuneration Commission Circular, 2023,” asserted Owino.
In addition, the petitioner asserted that Nairobi County personnel are associated with MCAs. Two employees who are purportedly the son and daughter of two MCAs have been named by him.Additionally, he asserted that some staff may have been employed without using a competitive hiring process.
According to Owino, “Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned positions were advertised by the County Assembly Service Board as required by law, and none of the appointees were ever shortlisted or eventually interviewed, nor were their names published in the print media; a clear manifestation to the extent of flouting the constitution by the respondent.”
“The failure as required by the law to advertise the positions irregularly filled denied other competent residents of Nairobi and Kenya the right to apply and compete for the appointment and or selection on merit,” claimed Owino.
Both the speaker and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) were sued by the petitioner. He charged that the EACC had disregarded complaints concerning hiring practices in Nairobi. He cited the Holy Bible to support his argument that even the most charismatic leaders can stray from their course. He described King Saul’s history to Justice Mugure.