COTU boss Francis Atwoli lawyer Judy Kwishero at Milimani Industrial court in Nairobi on 21/07/2014.
BY SAM ALFAN.
The Industrial court has suspended the Gazette Notice which revoked the appointment of Cotu boss Francis Atwoli and the Federation of Kenya employees Chair Jacklyn Mugo .
Justice Monica mbaru overturned the gazette notice until July 25 when the matter will be heard. This
comes after two cases were filed under certificate of urgency in Court by Cotu boss Francis Atwoli and Human Rights activist.
The Battle between Cotu Secretary General and labor Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi got its way to the courts after a Human Rights Activist early today on behalf of the public moved to Court seeking to Quash the Gazette notice the 18th of this month which revoked the appointment of Francis Atwoli and Jacklyn Mugo as Workers Representative from the NSSF board of Trustee.
In his suit Atwoli argues that labour cabinet secretary Kazungu kambi has no authority to revoke there appointments and termed Kambi move as unlawful and Unconstitutional.
“The manner the cabinet secretary has handled this case is callous and in total disregard of the rights and interests of the members who painfully contribute to the National Social Security Funds “said activitist Omanga.
COTU boss Francis Atwoli through his lawyer Judy Kwishero said his Fundamental rights were contravened by the CS decision because he was not notified of the alleged Retirement.
In the Suit, Charles Omanga says move by CS kambi is illegal and contravenes the NSSF Act and want the Constitutional Court to Overturn the Notice.
Omanga argues that it is only representatives of the workers who can advice the Cabinet to revoke appointments.
Lab our Secretary Kazungu Kambi’s decision to retire workers’ and employers’ representatives from the NSSF board has since then received deep criticism from different quarter in the country with Cotu threatening to call a national strike.
But in a quick rejoinder, Atwoli dismissed the CS saying that he had no authority to replace him from the board
Kambi who made the announcement on Friday said he acted within the law in line with the new NSSF Act 2013 which states that no board member can serve for more than two terms of three years each.
Section 8 (1) of the Act states: A Trustee shall hold office for a term of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further and final term.
“In order to inject new blood to the management of the fund and in compliance with Section 8 of the NSSF Act, I have retired from the Board of Trustees; Francis Atwoli and Jacqueline Mugo who have served in the board for 15 and 11 years respectively for not complying with Section 10(III) of the Act,” he stated.
Kambi’s announcement is also contained in the latest issue of the Kenya Gazette dated July 9, 2014.
COTU boss Francis Atwoli and labour cabinet secretary Kazungu Kambi during Labour Day Celebrations at Uhuru Park Nairobi.
Atwoli who has been NSSF’s board member for 15 years swiftly responded, and accused Kambi of “misreading the law by purporting to retire me.”
“Kambi Kazungu as a person, and as a minister and as a government he has no any slightest authority whatsoever, under any known law of the land to retire me or the Federation of Kenya Employers,” Atwoli said.
Section 8 (2) provides that the Cabinet Secretary shall appoint one third of the members of the Board in a staggered manner separated by two months so that the respective expiry dates of their terms shall fall at a different time.
Atwoli further clarified at he had served at the Board for nine years which was the tenure allowed by the repealed Act adding that the labour movement was in the process of the selecting a nominee to replace him.
The fate of the cabinet secretary decision lies on the industrial court which will hear the matter and decide whether the CS was right to retire the two from NSSF board of trustees.
Activist Omanga speaking to the press outside Milimani Law court shortly after filing the case accused Kambi for trying to make NSSF like a government ministry or department while it doesn’t receive any money from the government.
“NSSF is a pure employee’s contribution money and not a government department “said Activist Omanga