The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Eldoret has nullified the appointment of eight Nandi County Executives (CECs).
The court ruled that Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and the Nandi County Assembly failed to vet the five CECs who were serving in Governor Stephen Sang's first term and also failed to observe the two-thirds gender rule.
Onesmas Kimeli, a Nandi resident, had gone to court to challenge the composition of Nandi County Executive, leading to Justice Maureen Onyango quashing the appointments of the eight CECs and ordering the positions to be re-advertised and new appointments be made
"The two-thirds gender principle should not be downgraded to a contest between men and women. It is about human dignity, equality, equity, social justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms, essential values in an open and democratic society," reads part of the ruling.
The eight CECs were sworn into office on November 24, 2022.
Nandi governor, who is on his second term, retained five CECs including Philemon Bureti of Lands and Natural Resources, Kiplimo Lagat of the Agriculture Department, Ruth Koech of Health and Sanitation, Alfred Lagat of Trade and Investments and Drice Rono of Roads and Infrastructure. The five were not subjected to vetting as the law is silent on such.
"We cannot be having a vacuum in a government, that is why the CECs were still in office until the new administration was sworn in. You remember even Uhuru Kenyatta in his second term in 2017 reappointed Cabinet Secretaries like Fred Matiang'i, Simon Chelugui, Mutahi Kagwe and others who were not subjected to vetting in the National Assembly. So we wonder why the law is operating in a manner that we don't understand," Weldon Mutai, Nandi County resident, said.
The court's decision to quash Governor Sang's executive appointments has further raised questions on minorities and two-thirds gender where a section of political analysts in Nandi say Governor Stephen Sang didn't break any law.
"The issue of minority and gender principle is sorted by the appointment of Rose Angira the CEC for Sports and Gender. She also represents the minority, the Luhya community. Therefore, out of nine CECs we have three women which is just okay. This qualifies two-thirds gender rule," Ezekiel Sang, political analyst, said.
At first, Governor Sang appointed eight CECs before later adding another one to make it nine, with six men and three women.
It is not known whether the Nandi County boss will adhere to the court ruling or make an appeal.