The Labour Court has overturned Transport CS James Macharia‘s decision to nominate three persons from the same ethnic group to a State body tasked with improving Nairobi’s public transportation.
Justice Nzioki wa Makau ruled that Transport CS James Macharia’s appointment of Mary Waithigieni Chege, Zachariah Karenge Mungai, and Ronald Ndirangu Ndegwa to the Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (Namata) Board was unlawful.
Among the projects overseen by the agency is the Sh5.6 billion Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, which would assist the city’s public commuter services and help alleviate traffic congestion.
While ruling on a lawsuit filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Justice Makau criticised Mr Macharia’s appointments for failing to represent Kenya’s broad ethnicities.
The appointments were made public by a gazette notice on February 5, 2021, and the appointees were to serve for three years.
“The interested parties subject of this suit (Chege, Mungai and Ndegwa) are all from one ethnic community and do not represent the diverse fabric that is the Kenyan nation. Their appointment therefore smacks on the evils of old which Kenyans opted to do away with in the Constitution we took on for ourselves in 2010,” said the judge.
He ordered that the three appointees by Transport CS James Macharia relinquish their jobs. He discovered that the nominations had been made without respect for the national ideals enshrined in the Constitution.
Namata was established by President Uhuru Kenyatta by executive order in 2017 and was entrusted with establishing a world-class public transportation system to the metropolitan region.
Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Machakos, and Kajiado counties are served by the authority.
Namata is working to improve the public transportation system in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area by introducing and implementing the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), which includes the Bus Rapid Transit System, the Commuter Rail System, and the Non-Motorised Transport System.
It is now working on the BRT project alignment along Thika Road from Ruiru to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi’s city centre. The project is being carried out in collaboration with SMEDI by STECOL Corporation.