Reappointment of Nyeri executives in jeopardy as locals sue

Three Nyeri residents have gone to court protesting against the reappointment and swearing in of six County Executive Committee members who served in former Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s administration.

Mr Bernard Ngiri, Mr Denning Omungo and Catherine Wangui told Justice John Mativo of Milimani High Court, Nairobi, that they were acting in the interest of Nyeri people and are seeking to have the executive members barred from assuming office.

The three accused Attorney-General Githu Muigai of misleading the county government by advising that the executives do not need fresh vetting and approval by the County Assembly.

Mr Charles Githinji (Health), Mr Erastus Muriuki (Education), Mr Robert Thuo (Agriculture), Mr Stanley Miano (Tourism), Ms Lucy Wanyitu (Special Programmes), and Mr Timothy Ngunyangi (Environment) took oath of office last week on Thursday in a ceremony presided over by High Court advocate Wahome Gikonyo.

“The advisory opinion of the principal legal adviser, the Attorney-General, Professor Githu Muigai, blatantly in disregard of the simple provisions of the Constitution that offer no alternative, did misadvise the County Government of Nyeri to neglect and ignore Article 179 (7) of the Constitution,” they indicated in the petition.

“Unknown persons have been allowed to hold office without approval of the Members of County Assembly of Nyeri,” the trio argued.

READ: AG’s advice saves Nyeri ministers from vetting

The petitioners named the county government, Governor Samuel Wamathai, the AG and the six executives as respondents in the matter.

They accused Mr Wamathai of breaching the Constitution by reappointing the former executives.

The three further told the court that the current devolved government is illegal and should be revoked.

“Despite the respondents’ exposure to immense knowledge and understanding of the Constitution, they have terribly failed to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution by forming a (county) government that is in contravention of the Grundnorm,” the petitioners contended further.

They sought a declaration that there are no formal office bearers of the County Executive Committee as stipulated in the Constitution.

The judge however rejected their application to file the matter under certificate of urgency and directed that the case comes up for hearing on March 22.

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