21 July 2013

Kenya: Garissa Approves List Despite Court Order

Garissa county assembly approved a list of nominees for the Public Service Board which had been unanimously rejected last week. The High Court in Garissa had hours earlier issued an order barring the assembly from debating the names until the matter was heard and resolved.

Judge Stella Mutuku issued stay orders on deliberations over the report as requested by a voter, Abdiwahab Abdullahi Ali. According to court documents seen by the Star, the injunction was served and received by the assembly clerk at 12.30pm but the House still debated the report and approved the names.

The nominees who were approved are chairman Harun Yusuf, secretary Annete Muriuki, members Abdisalam Mohamed, Dahir Yusuf, Fardosa Hussein, Abdiisaak Aden and Mohamed Abdi.

Jarajila ward representative Mahat Osman termed the approval of the list as "a disgusting moment" for the assembly. "The county's executive compromised some of the members of the assembly to ensure they had the numbers required to pass the names," he said.

"The issues of integrity and suitability raised last week over certain nominees have not yet been addressed yet the names have been approved. How is that acceptable?"

Minority Leader Nassir Aden said the list consists of friends and cronies of the governor who he was rewarding. "Harun (the chairman) is a star witness for Governor Nadhif Jama in the petition case he is currently grappling with while Fardosa is the daughter of his chief campaigner," Nassir said.

"It is degrading that despite the court order, the clerk advised the assembly to debate this report proving beyond doubt that this is an institution that does not respect the law".

Last week, all the 30 county representatives voted against the nominee list saying the it did not meet regional and integrity requirements as stipulated in the constitution. The governor was expected to submit a fresh list.

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