An activist has moved to court to challenge President William Ruto's decision to appoint businesswoman Mary Wambui as the Chairperson of the Board of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).
In the suit filed under a certificate of urgency, activist Julius Ogogoh wants the court to issue orders barring Wambui from assuming office and revoke the gazette notice appointing her CA boss for a period of three years.
"An order of certiorari to remove into court and quash Gazette notice number 14893 of December 1, 2022, by President appointing Mary Wambui Mungai as the chairperson of the Board of CA effective December 2, 2022, for a period of three years," court papers read in part.
Ogogoh, through lawyer David Masake, claims Wambui does not meet all mandatory requirements for the position as stipulated in the Kenya Information and Communication Act Number 2 of 1998.
He claims Wambui has failed the integrity test on the basis of a Ksh 2.2 billion tax evasion case against her that is pending in the Anti-corruption court.
According to the activist, the President's decision to appoint the business lady was irregular, illegal and an outright abuse of the law.
"The purported appointment lacks proper legal backing and this an abuse of the law and the specific procedures as provided for by the Kenya Information and Communication Act," Ogogoh says.
He further wants the court to allow him to institute judicial review proceedings in the matter.
The lawsuit comes after Wambui was on Thursday last week appointed by President Ruto to serve in the position for a period of three years after Gilbert Kibe resigned.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by section 6 (1) (a) of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, I, William Ruto, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya, appoint—Mary Wambui Mungai to be the Chairperson of the Board of Communications Authority of Kenya, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 2nd December 2022. The appointment of Gilbert Kibe is revoked," a gazette notice by Ruto read in part.
Notably, Kibe Gilbert was appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in May 2022.
Before his appointment, he served as the Director General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) among other roles.
Kibe resigned hours before the head of state appointed Wambui as the body's chairperson.
As the chairperson, Wambui will oversee the operations at the Communications Authority.
Some of the functions include, licensing systems and services in the communication industry, facilitating the development and management of a national cyber security framework as well as facilitating the development of e-commerce.
In 2017, the tycoon was among 13 billionaires funding the re-election of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and his then-deputy, William Ruto.