A High Court judge has temporarily suspended the recent appointments of four public officials, including Dr. Phillip Kiptanui Kirwa as CEO of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Joseph Kamau as CEO of Athi Water Works Development Agency, Abdallah Hatimy as CEO of Kenya National Shipping Line Ltd, and Agnes Kalekye as the managing director of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), raising questions about adherence to proper procedures.

Justice Samwel Mohochi issued the conservatory order following a petition filed by Dr. Magare Gikenyi, a surgeon based in Nakuru.

"That a conservatory order is hereby issued suspending the press release, gazette notice and or any other document or authority appointing the 20th, 22nd and 24th respondents as chief executive officer or managing directors of the 21st, 23rd and 25th state corporations, respectively," Mohochi stated.

Dr. Gikenyi argued that the appointments bypassed legal protocol, as they were allegedly made in consultation with the head of the public service instead of following the legal requirement of presidential appointment.

The judge directed all parties involved to file their responses within seven days and scheduled a mention of the case for June 11th.

Lack of Transparency and Alleged Regional Bias

Dr. Gikenyi's petition further challenged the transparency of the selection process, particularly concerning Dr. Kirwa's appointment at MTRH.

He claimed the entire process lacked transparency and disregarded established procedures, statutory regulations, and constitutional requirements.

The petition also raised concerns about potential regional bias in the selection process for MTRH.

Dr. Gikenyi pointed out that despite MTRH promoting itself as an equal opportunity employer, the shortlist for the CEO position included five candidates from a single region, potentially leading to an overrepresentation of a specific ethnicity in the hospital's senior management.

"That despite the fact that MTRH hospital being a national Level 6 teaching and referral hospital (as opposed to a regional/local hospital) the respondents shortlisted five (5) out of the 8 candidates from one region and/or ethnicity (all 5 from Kalenjin community with 4 being Nandi subtribe and 1 Keiyo subtribe), all from former Rift valley province," Gikenyi argued.

Diversity Concerns

The petitioner highlighted the lack of diversity in the shortlisted candidates, stating that only one woman was included, while a qualified disabled applicant was inexplicably excluded.

The court's decision to suspend these appointments underscores the importance of following proper procedures and ensuring transparency and diversity in public sector recruitment practices.

The upcoming legal proceedings will determine the validity of the challenged appointments and whether they will ultimately be upheld.