Remember the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Chairman Eng. Wangai Ndirangu who we brought to the fore in May 2022, as he faced heavy opposition for holding two public positions against the Ethics Act?
Well, it turns out that the chap is still determined to unlawfully keep the two jobs despite previous failed efforts, including a desperate but unsuccessful blackmail attempt on Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia to spare his irregularly acquired job.
This time around, the KeNHA boss has dragged the fight to court where he recently filed a defence application through Solomon Mugo and Company Advocates.
According to Mr Ndirangu, the bid to remove him from the seat was a selective and discriminative assault on him.
He claims that given his job at KeNHA was temporary, he was only required to take a leave of absence from his lecturer job and not resign as demanded by the petitioner.
“Bearing in mind that inter alia such appointments are not of a permanent nature, thereby only requiring the appointee, if a public officer, to only take leave of absence and not permanently resign from the nominating institution,” he said in the papers.
He adds that the petition only seeks to disparage the president who is the appointing authority, the CS as the recommending authority and himself as the deserving appointee.
This comes only a few weeks after a team of lawyers from Adera and Kenyatta Advocates, acting on behalf of a lobby group led by led by George Balla, petitioned CS Macharia in April 2022, asking him to revoke his appointment.
They cited the Roads Act, which strictly states that the KeNHA Chairman must be drawn from a list of six directors nominated by various organisations and must not be a public officer.
The six organisations include tertiary learning institutions, the institution of Engineers of Kenya, Law Society of Kenya, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, Institute of Surveyors of Kenya and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.
The Ethics Act defines a public officer as a permanent or part-time employee in counties, national government, Parliament, and institutions such as public universities.
By these standards, Ndirangu was already a public officer at the time he was appointed.
“This is the epitome of impunity and display of utter disregard of the law for the persons that the law expressly bars from sitting in the board of KeNHA to be appointed as chairman of the same board and illegally serves at taxpayers’ expense,” the petition to Mr Macharia on behalf of their client, George Balla noted in part.
In a desperate attempt to defend his unlawfully acquired job, Eng. Ndirangu sought the services of Onyango Oyieko and Co Associates and also wrote to CS Macharia urging him to ignore the correspondences.
In a letter dated 21st April 2022, Eng. Ndirangu, through the shoddy law firm, proceeded to launch a series of scathing and unfounded attacks on the legal officers who questioned the legal reasoning behind his appointment, describing them as “malicious individuals”.
Instead of legally responding to the issues raised, they went all out in unnecessarily defaming the petitioner, Mr George Balla.
They hysterically argue that since the lawyer in question is a state officer, he is for some reason barred from blowing the whistle on the blatant contravention of the law by claiming he was acting against the state.
The case will be heard on June 16, 2022, by Justice James Rika.
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