By Esther Mwangi/Brian
The High Court has suspended the operations of the Naivasha Municipality board until a petition challenging its legality is heard and determined.
The move comes barely two weeks after the board elected Sam Weru from Residents Association as chair with Peninah Muigai from LSK as the deputy.
Judge Richard Mwongo noted with concern the failure by the county government to send a representative to the court and directed the county to file their response to the petitioners within 10 days and their submission to the court by seven days.
Lawyer George Kimani representing the petitioners had argued that if allowed to operate the board would be acting against the wishes of Naivasha residents.
He told the court that the board had wide powers and a big budget noting that the law was not followed in electing the board officials and they were thus in office illegally.
In the petition filed by Eskimos Kobia, Lucas Karobia Kiratu and Haki Jamii Rights Centre, they want the vetting of the board process started afresh terming the previous one as unconstitutional.
They argued that Nakuru County government and its agents engaged in unlawful process of nominating and vetting the board members.
The petitioners noted that the selected nominees lacked basic requirements like permanent residents and educational requirements to sit at the board.
“The entire process is prejudicial, embarrassing and an impunity to the resident of Naivasha sub-county and extension to Nakuru County,” reads the petition.
In an affidavit sworn by Kobia, he had information to prove that some of the nominees did not have a degree as required by law for anyone intending to serve as a board member.
Kobia who is also the chairman Naivasha Professional Association (NPA), added that one of the appointee did not have a functional business in Naivasha as per the set requirements.
“Some alleged nominating bodies of affiliate organization are no-existent or relevant in Naivasha region and thus lack capacity to nominate any individual,” he said in the affidavit.
The case will come up for hearing on July 9, this year.