Embattled Export Processing Zone Authority CEO Fanuel Kidenda with his lawyer Danstan Omari outside Milimani Commercial Court on Thursday December 6,2018./PHOTO BY S.A.N.

Trade and Industry Cabinet secretary Peter Munya has been barred filling the position of CEO of Export Processing Zone (EPZ) until a case filed by former boss Fanuel Odede Kidenda is heard and determined.

Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered Kidenda to be paid salary for the work already done upto December this year.

“Pending hearing of the petition, an order of injunction is hereby issued restraining CS Peter Munya and whether acting by themselves, agents,officers or whosoever to cease from declaring the position of Chief Executive Officer of the EPZA vacant and desist from recruiting or hiring persons to fill the position of Fanuel Kidenda as the Chief Executive Officer even in acting capacity,” ordered judge Wasilwa.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labor Relations Court said the matter was a unique since two CS’s are fighting over the appointment of Kidenda.
Meanwhile the parties in the case have asked for more time to have the matter settled out of court..

CEO Fanuel Kidenda filed application in court seeking to reverse a decision by Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to replace him.

Kidenda also seeks an order compelling Munya appointing George Makateto the Acting Managing Director of EPZA.

Through his lawyer Danstan Omari, Kidenda wants to be reinstated with all privileges, salaries, allowances as well as being granted access to his office without victimization for the duration of his term.

Lawyer Omari said the CEO was dismissed unprocedurally by Munya and Makateto appointed verbally as the acting MD.

Kidenda further wants an order restraining CS Munya and EPZA from declaring the position of the CEO vacant and resist from recruiting anyone to fill the position.

He was first appointed and gazetted as the CEO as from November 14, 1999 uninterrupted and progressively been risen through the ranks. And through a letter dated March 20, Kidenda communicated his desire to renew his contract.

The EPZA board evaluated his performance under supervision of the State Corporation Advisory Committee (SCAC) and returned “very good” score at a special board meeting held on 4th July 2018.

The results of the evaluation were presented to the EPZ board by SCAC at a special full board meeting held on 6th July 2018 upon which board resolved and recommended renewal of his contract, for further three years.

The board resolution was communicated to the then Cabinet Secretary of Trade and Cooperatives Aden Mohamed on 6th July this year with a copy sent to his Principal Secretary Betty Maina who was present during the meeting of 4th July as a Board member.

The CS concurred with the board resolution and issued the re-appointment letter dated 11th July this year which was forwarded to EPZA on 8th July. A new contract executed between board session chairman Joseph Muisiyo Nzioka and Kidenda for three years effective 21st September.

Munya took over the Trade docket from Mohammed following a cabinet reshuffle on September 13.

On 20th September, Munya purported to relieve Kidenda of his duties and his place, appointed Makateto as acting MD. The CS also wrote to the board notifying them of the appointment.

But Kidenda said his removal and new appointment was done without the board’s involvement and in total disregard of all relevant laws and provisions of government circular and the human resource police of EPZ board.

Kidenda claims the purported dismissal by the CS is illegal, irregular, unprocedural, ultra vires, unreasonable. He further said the move was a witch-hunt actuated by malice and blatant disregard of the law and rules of justice.

Munya on his part claims that the letter of appointment issued to Kidenda was either forged or altered as the then CS Adan Mohamed was not in Kenya on 11-07-2018.
In a further affidavit, EPZ says that it has written a letter to the DCI to investigate the circumstances under which the contract of employment was issued to Kidenda.
Kidenda sued Munya for replacing him verbally. He maintains that his contract was extended by former Trade Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed in July this yea,r for a term of three years.
The parties in a consent agreed to have the matter mentioned on the February 6, 2019 for further directions.