Court declines to stop Olive Mugenda’s appointment as KU Hospital board Chair


Olive Mugenda
Former K.U Vice Chancellor Prof. Olive Mugenda. PHOTO | FILE

Prof. Olive Mugenda will continue serving as the Non-Executive Chairperson of the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital board.

This is after the Employment and Labour Relations Court declined to issue conservatory orders to stop her appointment and that of Kithinji Kiragu and Gladys Ogallo as members of the board following a petition filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

The court, while declining to issue the orders, said that if proved to be unconstitutional, the appointments can be quashed, adding that the President and the Cabinet Secretary acted in good faith by making the appointments.

Omtatah wants the appointments quashed on grounds that they were made without subjecting the appointees to a fair, open, competitive, merit based, and inclusive recruitment process.

He further argues that the offices of Chairperson and of Member of the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital board are public offices, subject to the Public Service Commission (PSC), and must be filled through a fair, open, competitive, merit-based, and inclusive recruitment process.

“Under the law, the process for filling offices in the public service begins with the PSC advertising vacancies for the positions and inviting applications from qualified interested parties. The PSC then publishes the names of all applicants and later the shortlist.

“The PSC then conducts interviews and avails an opportunity for public participation before appointing persons to the offices or submitting the names of successful candidates to appointing authorities for appointment, ” reads the court documents.
He says that the Constitution must be strictly followed in the recruitment and appointment of the Chairperson and Member of the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital board.

Omatah further claims that Mugenda is still an employee of Kenyatta University, therefore, she cannot sit on the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital board where the Kenyatta University Council is represented, and the university’s Vice Chancellor is a member.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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