In Summary
  • Justice Onesmus Makau noted on Friday that the politician was unqualified and that the appointment was irregular.
  • Ms Wambui landed the State job in October 2019 but the public was outraged, saying she was out of touch with the realities of young, unemployed graduates.
  • Later in October 2019, Justice Hellen Wasilwa barred Ms Wambui from taking over the job, following a case by the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association.

The Employment Court has quashed former Othaya MP Mary Wambui's appointment as chairperson of National Employment Authority.

Justice Onesmus Makau said Friday that the politician was unqualified and that the appointment was irregular as it did not meet constitutional and statutory requirements.

Mr Makau cancelled the designation in an October 14, 2019 Gazette notice and issued a permanent injunction barring Ms Wambui from taking the post.

"The upshot is that the two petitions [against her appointment] succeed and the reliefs are granted as sought," the judge ruled.

OUTRAGE

Ms Wambui's appointment sparked outrage, members of the public saying she was out of touch with the realities of young, unemployed graduates.

They also questioned the former lawmaker's capacity to deliver.

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, of the ruling Jubilee Party, said the appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta was a slap in the face of Kenyan youth.

PETITION

Later in October 2019, Justice Hellen Wasilwa barred Ms Wambui from taking over the job, following a case by the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association, whose chairman is Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

The petitioners argued that Ms Wambui was not qualified under the law, policy and best practice.

They noted that she had, on several occasions, admitted having a limited educational background, making her unsuitable to conduct the affairs of the chairperson, in light of the specialist academic and professional requirements.

The petitioners also said Ms Wambui does not conform to the provisions of Section 10 (2)(c) of the National Employment Authority Act.

The qualifications of the chairperson of the authority, they further said, are mandatory and not discretionary.

REQUIREMENTS

In its provisions on who qualifies to be a chairperson, the NEA notes the need to be a Kenyan citizen, who meets the integrity requirements of the Constitution.

“(The person should have) at least seven years’ experience in human resource management or its equivalent,” says the Act, which does not provide an age limit.

Among the roles vested on the authority is circulation of any available vacancies “through appropriate means including use of social media, internet and published materials”.

It is also supposed to register persons seeking employment and to maintain the list.