Court stops new Kenya Pipeline Company chief from taking office

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Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) acting managing director Hudson Andambi will remain in office until a petition filed by activist Okiya Omtatah is heard and determined.

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Hellen Wasilwa ordered that the status quo be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the petition.

KPC board and Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes on December 2, appointed Total Kenya’s director of strategy Macharia Irungu as managing director.

But Omtatah went to court to oppose the appointment on grounds that the process was marred by nepotism and favouritism.

“The impugned recruitment process was so tainted with violations of the law, including the Constitution that it must be called out and be quashed by this honourable court,” he said in his court documents.

Omtatah also said the recruitment process was not transparent and accountable.

“No lists of applicants were advertised or publicised; no lists of shortlisted candidates were advertised or publicised; the public were not invited and were not given the opportunity to comment on shortlisted candidates,” he argued.

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Second advert

Omtatah said on July 19, the board invited candidates to apply for the post of managing director.

However, it re-advertised the position on October 14, claiming it had not found an adequate number of qualified applicants to proceed to the interviews.

According to him, failure to disclose the outcome of the first advert went against Article 35(3) of the Constitution on the right to access information.

“The second advert was irregular and unlawful since the applicants of the first advert didn’t know what happened to their applications,” he says.

Omtatah argues that the decision to cancel the first recruitment process was influenced by nepotism, favouritism, and/or other improper motives or corrupt practices.

“The earlier recruitment exercise was abandoned not because it was not responsive but because a preferred candidate did not meet the minimum requirements,” he said. The matter will be heard on December 20.

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