Information, Technology and Communication Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiangi addressing the press in Nairobi. (File photo)
BY SAM ALFAN.
High Court sitting in Nairobi has revoked Information CS Fred Matiangi’s appointments of Information Communication Technology Authority Board members.
Judge George Odunga on Thursday annulled the appointment of six members of the ICTA board saying that it was “done illegitimately and with procedural immodesty.”
“I hereby grant an order quashing the decision and gazette notice of January 16 2014 appointing members of the ICTA board,” the judge said.
Mr Adrian Kamotho Njenga who is the secretary-general of ICT Association of Kenya the said that upon scrutinizing the appointments by the minister, he was “alarmed by glaring irregularities.”
They argued that the CS in utter disregard of their concerns proceeded to launch the board to which he had appointed “his campus cronies” which event was given a formal green light for the board to start operations.
“The appointments were wreaked with irrationality, abuse of power, tainted with bias and in fragrant disregard of the rule of law,” Mr Njenga held.
He said that the selection of the members of the ICTA board was irregular as the appointees were colleagues from the same university of which the university ignored to confirm even after their probing.
According to the CS the allegations raised by the ICTA secretary general were minor, and held the view that the appointment took the wider interest of the public in the ICT sector by providing linkages among research institutions, the industry and the government.
Dr Matiangi said that he was duly authorized to make the appointments and he lawfully exercised his authority and the statutory mandate rationally.
“The appointments were procedural hence the allegations by the applicants are mis-constructed and should be dismissed,” he said.
Justice Odunga said that Dr Matiangi’s statutory powers to appoint did not constitute improper exercise as it amounts to failing to consider relevant factors like public participation and transparency.
He said that the appointments failed to adhere to the constitution and failure to do so meant that the said appointments were tainted with procedural impropriety.
“A board or a state corporation is to be composed of not more than three public officers appointed by the minister. The tutors are public officers,” he said.
Judge Odunga thus quashed the appointment and cautioned the CS to considered provisions of the constitution saying that the “scope of the court extends to the exigency of each case.”