The High Court in Kenya yesterday revoked the appointment of the six ICT Authority board members in case filed by the ICT Association of Kenya (ICTAK) setting the stage for more friction between the lobby group and ICT cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi who appointed the members.
In his ruling, High Court Judge George Odunga termed the appointment of Timothy Waema, Esther Kibere, Joseph Dena, Elijah Omwenga, David Mugo and Ugas Sheikh Mohamed as illegal, unprocedural and issue of partial invalidity did not arise.
“To exclude the public from the exercise of statutory powers constitutes improper exercise of powers since it amounts to failure to consider a relevant factor in this case public participation and transparency,” said Justice Odunga in his ruling.
ICTAK through its secretary general Kamotho Njenga, had pointed to paragraph 6 (2)(e) of Legal Notice 183 of 2013 provided that not more than 6 persons, not being public officers, be appointed, and the Cabinet Secretary included persons who are public officers as per under article 260 of the Constitution of Kenya.
The ICT body was also against the decision by the CS to gazette all of the six board members at the same time a move that goes against paragraph 6 (3) of the Notice that requires members of the board to be appointed at different times so that their expiry dates of terms in office fall at different times.
Kamotho Njenga also wanted ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to “immediately revoke the illegal gazette notice NO 444” which contained the announcement of the board’s appointment.
Reacting to the ruling on his twitter account, Matiang’I said, “We will immediately appeal High Court decision on ICTA Board. The ICTA statute does not require public participation.”
“Vaxatious litigation, selfish private pursuits disguised as public interests remain some of the frustrating challenges in the ICT sector,” he added in another tweet.
The board which had a 3-year term was tasked with delivering the ICT Authority’s mandate which is to co-ordinate the ICT sector and to market Kenya as a local and international ICT hub.