The Employment and Labour Relations court has quashed the appointment of former Othaya MP Mary Wambui to the position of chairperson, the National Employment Authority.
Justice Onesmus Makau, in his ruling Friday, January 17, said Wambui’s October 14, 2019 appointment to the position by ex-Labour minister-now Treasury chief, Ukur Yatani, was irregular, given Wambui “does not meet qualifications required for the job”.
The judge further said besides the lack of professional qualifications, Wambui “does not meet the Constitutional and Statutory requirements”.
Justice Makau, consequently, issued a permanent injunction that stops Wambui from assuming office.
On October 23, 2019, the Employment Court ordered the suspension of the appointment of Mary Wambui to the National Employment Authority.
The court, through Justice Hellen Wasilwa, directed that Wambui should not assume office until a petition challenging her appointment was heard and determined.
The petitioner, the Kenya Young Parliamentarian Association, through its legal representative Mwenje & Karanja Advocates, argued that Mary Wambui was not qualified to lead the Authority as its chairperson.
The petitioner said the former Othaya MP did not meet the requirements set by Section 10(2) of the National Employment Authority Act.
One of the requirements that Section 10 (2) of the National Employment Authority Act stipulates is that the chairperson should “have at least seven years’ experience in human resource management or its equivalent”. According to the petitioner, Wambui does not have any HR qualifications.
Other requirements include: the holder must be a citizen of Kenya and is known to be a person of integrity.
The Kenya Young Parliamentarian Association chairperson, Johnson Sakaja, had instructed the outfit’s lawyers to lodge a legal complaint against Mary Wambui’s appointment.
Sakaja argued that Wambui’s limited education, “which she had admitted to” would pose a great challenge to her when she takes up the job.
Labour minister Ukur Yatani on October 14, 2019 appointed Wambui to the position of chairperson of the National Employment Authority, sparking criticism from Kenyans on social media, who argued the Jubilee Government has a penchant for recycling “elderly and failed politicians”.
Mary Wambui, however, defended her appointment, saying she had what was needed to lead the agency.
“I got the post because I am better than those complaining. I have the qualifications and experience to run the office,” she said in mid-October 2019.