Man sues to stop Coast Waters multi-billion projects


A man wants the High Court to freeze the accounts of the Coast Water Services Board.

Samuel Ensom said he feared that funds meant for the board’s multi-billion shilling projects would be used to finance campaigns for the August 8 elections.

Mr Ensom on Monday asked the High Court to issue the orders pending the hearing and determination of his case.

Tenders stopped

He also wants the awarding of tenders to be stopped until a new chief executive officer is appointed.

In his application, which was certified as urgent, the petitioner wants the CEO, Jacob Kimutai, to be stopped from carrying out his duties, claiming that the process of recruiting him was unfair and secretive.

ALSO READ:

Court issues contempt notice against embattled Coast water board boss

Ensom is a resident of Tudor on Mombasa Island.

He asked Justice Eric Ogola to quash a decision appointing Mr Kimutai, claiming there was no public participation in the process.

Ensom says the water board is empowered to appoint officers and other employees as it may deem necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of its functions.

“The recruitment of the new CEO was secretive and against the law, which process has to be checked and nullified,” he argues.

Kimutai was appointed on May 5 by the board of directors. Ensom says the corporate body was in breach of the principles of good governance, openness, and transparency, having failed to publish the list of names of those who applied for the top job and their qualifications.

“It’s unlawful for Kimutai to continue being in office without the approval and knowledge of the public through public participation,” added Ensom.

On May 14, the Labour and Relations Court issued a contempt notice against Kimutai for allegedly failing to comply with an order not to assume office.

ALSO READ:

Businesses face closure as water scarcity bites

The order came as protests raged over his appointment, which was opposed by workers and civil society groups.

His appointment caused disruption of water supply to the six coastal counties as a civil society and workers obtained two court orders barring him from taking office.

Disobeying an order

The Commission for Human Rights and Justice wants Kimutai jailed for disobeying an order issued on May 5, restraining him from taking over as the new CEO.

“Kimutai has deliberately and with impunity failed to obey the order, hence it is in the interest of justice that this application is heard urgently,” said a notice filed in court.

Through Obara and Obara Advocates, with an affidavit by its executive director, Julius Ogogoh, the group alleges the CEO acted in disregard of the order.

“Workers and stakeholders feel the recruitment was unprocedural,” said Mr Ogogoh.

ALSO READ:

Looming crisis at the Sh38 billion Itare dam as evictees cry out for help

The judge asked Ensom to serve all the parties to attend an inter partes hearing today. 

Confusion at Kisumu County Assembly as two clerks fight for office

Suspects arrested for attempting to bribe KDF official with Sh400,000