Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u has been barred from interfering with the job of the director general of the Vision 2030 Delivery secretariat.
Justice Nduma Nderi restrained Prof Ndung’u from interfering with employment of Kenneth Mwige as the D-G, after purporting to nullify the renewal of his contract, pending the determination of his petition.
“A declaration that the purported invalidation of the employment contract renewed on and dated November 10, 2022 by Treasury CS or any other person other than the Vision Delivery Board amounts to unconstitutional, unfair, unlawful and un-procedural termination of employment,” Mwige said.
In the petition, Mwige wants a declaration that Ndung’u’s act of declaring his employment Contract dated November 10, 2022 as “null and void” and thereafter directing Francis Maina to take over from him is unconstitutional null and void.
He is arguing that the Treasury CS has no authority or power to unilaterally dismiss him from employment and purportedly appoint a substantive or acting Director General of the Vision Delivery Secretariat.
“A declaration that the power to remove or renew the employment contract of the Director General of the Vision Delivery Secretariat is solely vested in the Vision Delivery Board,” urges the court.
He is seeking a permanent injunction against Ndung’u’s appointee Maina restraining him and any other person from acting, taking over, replacing, performing or interfering in any way whatsoever with his duties as the Director General of the Vision Delivery Secretariat.
Through lawyer Martin Gitonga, Mwige says he was appointed to the position on June 30, 2020, for a period of three years, with effect from July 1, 2020.
He said he was on July 29, 2020, issued with a letter of appointment from the then Head of Public Service, confirming his appointment as the Director General in charge of the Secretariat.
The letter, he said, outlined the mandate of the Vision 2030 Delivery Board and his obligations as the Director General.
He says he duly discharged his duties and obligations and the routine performance evaluation by the Board exhibited positive reviews.
He says in the performance report for the year 2020/2021 and 2021/2022, the Board remarked his work as ‘good for the year 2020/2021 and noted an improvement in the year 2021/2022 where Mwige’s performance was noted as ‘very good’.
Following the very good performance, Mwige requested the renewal of his contract, six months before the expiry of the contract.
Mwige in the letter dated September 30, 2022, he requested the Board to appraise his performance and if satisfied, renew his contract.
The board allegedly met on October 13, 2022 and as evident from the minutes, the Chairperson presented to the Board his scorecard and the letter requesting for the renewal of the contract for a further three years.
The two administration police officers among seven officers claimed to providing security to Treasury CS appointee Francis Maina blocking the director general from accessing office.
Lawyer Gitonga told Judge Nderi it was difficult to serve Maina due to heavy presence of police protecting him at the office.
Notably, among the Board members present during the said meeting, was representative attending as an alternate to Dr. Julius Muia, CBS, the then Principal Secretary, the National Treasury.
The Board then resolved to renew his contract and in a letter dated November 10, 2022, Mwige was offered a new contract.
He says having accepted the appointment, it became a binding contract between him and the board.
On March 18, 2023, the board sent him sent him a memo informing him that Treasury CS had considered the renewed contract and deemed it as null and void, and as such the Petitioner’s contract expires on June 30, 2023.
He said the Treasury is evidently hell-bent on illegally, irregularly, unfairly, unjustifiably and unconstitutionally terminating his employment without just cause.