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KEBS CEO Njiraini Appointment revoked by a Judge

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KEBS CEO Benard Njiraini

A judge has revoked the appointments of Bernard Njiraini as chief executive officer of the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Bernard Ngore as chairman of the National Standards Council (NSC).

Justice Maureen Onyango of the Employment and Labour Relations Court quashed the appointments, stating that officials were handpicked contrary to the law, yet the process should be open to public participation.

The judge also quashed appointments of members of the board of directors of the NSC saying the recruitment was not subjected to public participation. The members included Mary Wanja Matu, Helen Kabeti, Fouzia Abdirahman, Patrick Musiu, Edward Njoroge, Eric Mungai, Gilbert Lang’at and Rogers Ochako.

The judge directed the Cabinet Secretary of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Betty Maina and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki to ensure that the new chairperson and new independent members of NSC are appointed strictly in compliance with the constitution and national legislation.

“A declaration be and is hereby issued that the appointment of the first respondent, on the recommendation of the National Standards Council, of Bernard Njiinu Njiraini as the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Bureau of Standards, was invalid, null and void ab initio,” said Justice Onyango.

Ms Maina had revoked the appointment of Mr Ngore but he moved back to court and obtained temporary orders, allowing him to stay at NSC.

The official accused the CS of violating the law by illegally degazetting him as the chairman of the NSC, without notice, or affording him an opportunity to be heard or giving him reasons for the decision.

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Through a gazette notice on November 14, 2019, the CS appointed the members and the chairman but the decision was challenged by Okiya Omtatah who argued that the officials were not subjected to a transparent and merit-based process.

Mr Omtatah further claimed that Mr Njiraini came in sixth position during the interviews for the job, hence did not deserve the position.

The CS also named Mr Ngore as the chairperson of NSC for a period of three years and revoked that of Ken Wathome Mwatu.

The officials, however, defended their appointments, saying they have the knowledge and expertise to handle the jobs.

The activist argued that Mr Mwatu was a presidential appointee and the CS cannot purport to revoke such as an appointment because he cannot override the President.

“There is absolutely no way that the Cabinet secretary could validly override the President’s appointment,” he said.

In July 2020, EACC officers arrested Bernard Njiraini for frustrating graft investigations at the parastatal.

Njiraini was arrested for refusing to give EACC detectives original documents related to multimillion-shilling tenders the commission is investigating.

Njiraini was arrested as a penal consequence for failing to comply with a notice issued to him to surrender the documents.

EACC had been investigating allegations of procurement irregularities and payment of bribes in respect of awards for tenders for provision of pre-export conformity of goods, used motor vehicles, mobile equipment and spare parts by Kebs. 

The Public Investments Committee (PIC) recommended punishment for Mr Njiraini and the procurement team at Kebs for alleged impropriety in awarding a pre-export verification tender. The National Assembly adopted the report that recommended that the top officer at the state agency be surcharged in the event bidders challenged the award.

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The watchdog committee chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir also recommended that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission probe the circumstances under which Kebs engaged blacklisted firms, EAA Company Ltd and Auto Terminal Japan.

The Auditor-General had in a special audit recommended that the two firms be barred from engaging in such tenders. But the agency went ahead to engage them in its bid to have more firms inspect vehicles being imported into the country.

Njiraini promotions and stay has been at the mercy of crooked cartels- tenderprenuers who he satisfies their needs at the expence of sanity against corruption.


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JohnBosco is a Liberated Mind. Polymath. Incisive Pundit on Governance, Independent Investigative Commentator and a Medic. For any insightful info email [[email protected]]

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