• It leaves Kenyans particularly property owners, investors and their tenants wondering where next to seek reprieve.
• The Landlord and Tenant Act does not create or permit the appointments of members of the Tribunal.
Kenya Investors Association has moved to court challenging the appointment of five of its members.
In an application filed under urgency, the association through lawyer Seth Ojienda, claims that the appointments of Cyprian Mugambi Ngutari aa Chairperson of the Tribunal and Patricia May Chepkirui, Kyalo Mbobu, Andrew Muma, Chege by Charles CS Trade and Industralization were made in excess and without power contrary to Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.
The Act does not create or permit the appointments of members of the Tribunal.
Ojienda states that the tenure of office of the Chairperson of the Business Premises Rent Tribunal had lapsed.
As a consequence, the Tribunal between June 14 and June 26, 2020 had over 80 Certificate of Urgency applications pending as it does not have a chairperson to listen to matters filed.
It leaves Kenyans particularly property owners, investors and their tenants wondering where next to seek reprieve.
The documents say that on the June 22, 2020 vide a Gazette Notice the CS Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development appointed five persons being Mugambi, Chepkirui, Mbobu, Muma, Chege as Members of the Tribunal for a period of three years effective the June 22, 2020.
“The appointments have been met with sharp reactions from the Kenya Investors Association and its members as they woke up to the said news not knowing when, how and where the interviews were conducted”, court documents reads.
He adds that the purported appointments of the Chairperson and the Members of the Business Premises Rent Tribunal without the definite roles of the latter being specified in such appointments, is erroneous, illegal and wrong and was in excess and therefore illegal and a nullity.
“That the appointment of the chairman and members of Business Premises Rent Tribunal was not subjected to the fair competition and merit as the basis of appointment and affording adequate and equal opportunities for appointment at all levels of the public service amounting to an irregularity and were discriminative”, the affidavit reads.
He adds that the impugned appointments of the chairman and Vice chairpersons or members of the Business Premises Rent Tribunal was made contrary to the critical values and principles that govern and regulate appointment to public service in Kenya.
“The appointments are opaque, unilateral, exclusive, illegal, unconstitutional and shrouded in mystery to such an extent that the matters or factors that were considered in the appointment can only be said to constitute irrelevant considerations and therefore contrary to public interest and legitimate expectations”, Ojienda says.
The association wants the Court to issue an order of stay, staying the appointment of the Chairperson and vice chair persons/members of the Business Premises Rent Tribunal, the swearing in and their occupation.
They also want an order directing the outgoing chairman Mbichi Mboroki to hold office in temporary capacity pending the hearing and determination of the Petition filed herewith to clear the backlog of matters filed between 12 June to-date with or without gazettment.