Case opposing Githii taking over as KRA boss moved to Nairobi

In Summary

• Justice Stephen Githinji ordered the matter be moved to Nairobi because all those sued are based in the capital city

• Petitioner Sawe says Githii's appointment, along with the renewal of the tenure of Njoroge as CBK Governor, violates the Constitution and favours one community

Lawyer Kaira Nabasenge in Eldoret on July 10
CHANGE OF GUARD: Lawyer Kaira Nabasenge in Eldoret on July 10

A court case in which an Eldoret resident is challenging the appointment of James Githii as KRA Commissioner General has been transferred to Nairobi.

Justice Stephen Githinji ordered that the matter be moved to Nairobi because all those sued are based in the capital city.

Joseph Sawe has sued the Attorney General and Treasury CS Henry Rotich. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Githii are interested parties in the matter.

Lawyers for KRA appeared before Justice Githinji and argued that there was also a similar case in Nairobi, hence the need to transfer it.

“The matter should be mentioned before the Deputy Registrar at the Nairobi High Court and respondents granted seven days to file their response,” Justice Githinji said.

Githii was appointed on June 4 by CS Rotich to replace John Njiraini.

But Sawe, through lawyer Kaira Nabasenge, filed a petition at the High Court in Eldoret, arguing that the appointment was in breach of the Constitution and should be quashed.

The petitioner argues that the appointment of Githii, which came along with the renewal of the tenure of Patrick Njoroge as CBK Governor, violated the Constitution's provisions on national unity, the rule of law, participation of the people, equity, non-discrimination, equality, transparency and accountability.

President Uhuru Kenyatta renewed Njoroge’s tenure on May 24.

“The appointment of the two public service officers at CBK and KRA is skewed and biased in favour of one community or ethnic group,” Sawe says in his petition.

Sawe says it's within public knowledge that Njoroge and Githii are from one ethnic community.

He also argues that at CBK, Njoroge had taken over from Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, while Githii is replacing Njiraini. All four, he says, share a common cultural background and descent.

Sawe says Uhuru and Rotich violated the constitution by renewing Njoroge’s tenure, and appointing Githii, respectively.

“In a period of 12 days, they made two key appointments in the public service that are biased, skewed in favour of one ethnic group and it’s a clear demonstration of discrimination against other ethnic groups in the country,” Sawe says in the petition.

He says CBK and KRA are key financial and revenue institutions that are captives of ethnicity.

Sawe says the KRA board submitted five names of the top candidates to CS Rotich for the KRA position, but he opted to favour Githii without justifiable reasons.

“We are asking the court to declare that the Gazzette Notice No 4857 dated June 4, 2019 on the appointment of Githii is null and void,” Nabasenge said.

He wants orders to stop Rotich from effecting Githii’s appointment and the court to order the CS to make a fresh appointment from the list of candidates that had been forwarded by the KRA board.

Nabasenge said they had served all the parties in the case.

Edited by A. Ndung'u