Puzzle of parastatal boss ‘holding 8 public jobs’

The acting secretary and chief executive officer of the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Ms Jennifer Gitiri, is accused of holding multiple public office jobs to the disadvantage of many deserving Kenyans.

Dr Magare Gikenyi said in a petition filed at the High Court that Ms Gitiri has been drawing salaries and allowances from the exchequer by holding eight public office jobs, a move he described as an abuse of administrative power.

The Nakuru-based surgeon pointed out that Ms Gitiri is the deputy director for Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), corporate secretary at the same agency, acting chief executive officer and acting secretary of the CLE, and also sits on several boards as a representative of the Attorney-General.

The boards she allegedly sits on include the Kenya Law Reporting (KLR), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Witness Protection Agency and the Victim Protection Agency, representing Attorney General Justin Muturi.

“Assuming the 1st Respondent (Ms Gitiri) qualifies to sit on any board as a representative of the 2nd Respondent (Attorney General), which is fiercely contested, I wish to point out that the 1st Respondent has no outstanding skill or extraordinary intellect that makes her better qualified than close to 800 State Counsels working in the Attorney General’s chambers, who can and should similarly be appointed to public boards as a representative of the Attorney General,” Dr Gikenyi said.

The petitioner also pointed out that Ms Gitiri is conflicted in her role as director of Living Water, a private company, and KRA while attempting to raise revenue for the two institutions.

“From the foregoing, this action of the respondents will lead to inter alia loss of public confidence and outright abuse of administrative power to the detriment of many other Kenyans in the county,” he submitted.

High Court judge Lawrence Mugambi directed him to serve Ms Gitiri and other respondents and interested parties in the case, with the court papers within 14 days.

The case will be heard on February 7, 2024.

Dr Gikenyi said it is inconceivable and smacks of favouritism and cryonism for the Attorney General to appoint the Ms Gitiri to sit on five different public boards as his representative while still holding four other substantive public appointments as a full-time employee of the ARA and CLE.

He further said for one to qualify to sit on a board of directors as a representative of the Attorney General, the person must be in active and direct employment of the State law office.

He argued that Ms Gitiri does not qualify to sit on even a single board of directors as she is a full-time employee of the ARA, which is a separate entity from the Attorney General’s office.

Dr Gikenyi also said Ms Gitiri does not have the qualifications to hold the substantive position of the CEO and secretary of CLE because she does not have a PhD in law and joined the bar in 2011 and, therefore, does not have the 15 years set by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Source: Business Daily

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