Appointment of rent tribunal members challenged in court
Kenya Property Investors Association has moved to court to challenge the appointment of the Chairperson and members of Business Premises Rent Tribunal by Cabinet Secretary Trade and Industrialization.
The Association accuse the Trade CS of appointing the said members without subjecting them to the fair competition and merit.
The CS Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development on June 22, appointed Cyprian Mugambi Ngutari as Chairperson of the Tribunal and Patricia May Chepkirui, Kyalo Mbobu, Andrew Muma, Chege Charles Gakuhi as Members of the Tribunal for a period of 3 years through a gazette notice.
The five were appointed after the lapse of the tenure of the former Chairperson Mbichi Mboroki.
“As a consequence of the lapse of the tenure, the Tribunal has over 80 Certificate of Urgency applications pending as it does not have a chairperson to listen to matters filed leaving Kenyans particularly property owners, investors and their tenants wondering where next to seek reprieve,” claimed the Association.
According to Association, the appointments of the five members of the tribunal have been met with sharp reactions from the Association as they woke up to the said news not knowing when, how and where the interviews were conducted.
“The said appointments were made in excess and without power contrary to Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act and Catering Establishment Tribunal (Forms and Procedure) Regulations, 1966 which do not create or permit the appointments of members of the Tribunal,” the Association argued in court documents.
The association claims the said appointments were made contrary to the critical values and principles that govern and regulate appointment to public service in Kenya.
“As a requirement, a vacancy, if any, arising in public service, the CS for Trade and Industrialization is required to notify to the public and that the public be afforded an opportunity to apply for the said appointments and which resultant appointments to public office must abide the law,” they argued.
They claim the said appointments are opaque, unilateral, exclusive, illegal, unconstitutional and shrouded in mystery to such an extent that the matters or factors that were considered in the appointment can only be said to constitute irrelevant considerations.
“The non-composition of the Tribunal is threatening and violating the public's right to access to justice as enshrined under Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010,” they argued.
The association want the Court to suspend the said appointment of the Chairperson and members of the Business Premises Rent Tribunal.
They further want the court to issue an order directing the outgoing chairman Mbichi Mboroki to hold office in temporary capacity pending the hearing and determination of their Petition in order to clear the backlog of matters filed between 12 June to-date with or without gazettment.