Activist Okiya Omtatah wants to block President Uhuru from appointing businessman James Ndegwa as the Capital Markets Authority chairperson.
In suit papers, he accuses Uhuru of handpicking and causing the illegal appointment of Ndegwa as the CMA chairperson.
Omtatah says that former NIC chair's appointment is unconstitutional because he is a conflicted person to the extent that he is a public official who regulates his private businesses.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta handpicked, appointed, and re-appointed to the public office of the Chairperson of the Board of Capital Markets Authority contrary to the law which requires that public office be filled through a transparent, competitive and merit based recruitment process open to public participation,” read the documents.
The activist argues that his case is extremely important and urgent since the unlawfully and unconstitutionally appointed CMA board is in the process of recruiting a new chief executive officer
Omtatah wants the court to quash the Executives appointment of Ndegwa and the independent members of the board.
"This petition seeks to ensure that the exercise is only undertaken by a properly constituted Board of Directors whose chairperson and the independent members of the board are appointed strictly in accordance with the law," he says.
The CMA’s chief executive's post fell vacant on January 1, when the tenure of the incumbent Paul Muthaura, who declined to renew his contract for a second term, ended.
An Acting CEO was appointed to hold brief pending recruitment and appointment of a substantive head.
Omtatah says the appointment of the new CEO who is likely to be in office for the next eight years is so crucial andcannot be left to the conflicted board which is captive to a section of the Capital Markets.
According to the court documents, the process of recruiting a new CEO begun on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 through the publication of a job advertisement, which remained open until September 27, 2019.
However Omtatah says competing conflicts of interest on the Board, has seen the matter go silent as the chairperson and the independent members are captive to the interests of those who influenced their being handpicked and appointed to the Board.
Omtatah wants court to compel the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the State Corporations Advisory Committee to appoint a new CMA board strictly in compliance with the constitution and national legislation.
Also sought is a declaration that the Executive’s impugned decision to handpick and appoint the Chairperson and the independent members of the CMA Board contrary to the law which requires that public office be filled through a transparent process open to public participation was unconstitutional.
Those sued are PSC, State Corporations Advisory Committee, Attorney General and James Ndegwa. Also sued are John Birech, Fresha Mugo, George Moibi, Thomas Kibua, Christine Okoth and Peter Mungai who Omtatah claims are beneficiaries of the impugned appointments