BY SAM ALFAN .
A Nakuru based Doctor has sued the deputy director of Asset Recovery Agency Deputy Jennifer Gitiri for holding multiple public offices denying other Kenyans a chance to serve in those positions.
Dr. Magare Gikenyi accuses Gitiri of sitting as a board member in several key institutions including Council of Legal Education, Kenya Law Reporting Council (KLRC), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Witness Protection Agency (WPA) and Victim Protection Agency (VPA).
Justice Lawrence Mugambi directed the doctor to serve the application and petition within 14 days and appear in open court for highlighting submissions next year.
The petitioner alleges that Gitiri draws salary and allowances for sitting on those institutions to the detriment of other Kenyans.
Dr. Gikenyi wants the court to issue an order prohibiting Gitiri from sitting in the five public institutions as a board member.
“A conservatory orders be issued against Jennifer Gitiri prohibiting her from sitting as a board member and or employee of the Interested Parties (CLE, KLRC, KRA, Witness Protection Agency and Victim Protection Agency) and drawing any allowance for such sitting pending hearing and determination of the petition,” seeks Dr. Gikenyi.
Besides, Dr Gikenyi said Gitiri also sits a Board of director of two private entities including living water and ACAMS East Africa Chapter.
He argues that it is inconceivable and smacks of favouritism and cryonism for the Attorney General to appoint Gitiri to sit on 5 different public boards as his representative and at the same time holds four other substantive public appointments as a full time employee of Witness Protection agency and CLE.
He further argues AG does not qualify to sit on even a single board of Directors as she is a full time employee of ARA as the Deputy Director Legal Services and Corporation Secretary, which is a separate entity from the Office of the Attorney General.
Dr Gikenyi further pointed out that for one to qualify to sit on a Board of Directors as a representative of the Attorney General one must be in active and direct employment of the state law office.
“I wish to point out that Gitiri 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,” he said.
Gitiri was recently appointed as the Acting Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of CLE on 9 October 2023.
Dr Gikenyi said Gitiri does not have requisite qualifications to hold the substantive position of CLE’s CEO and Secretary to the Board.
He adds that Gitiri lacks a PhD in law and was called to the Bar in the year 2011 and has therefore does have 15 years of practice as set by the PSC.
She also does not have experience of working in a senior position for more than six years, Dr Gikenyi said.
“With a total of assignments, 8 known public assignments and two private assignments the 1st Respondent cannot conceivably deliver on any of those assignments, she is thus overstretched and It is not humanly possible four full jobs, in public service, and yet deliver on them seamlessly namely, Deputy Director Legal Services, Corporation Secretary of the ARA, Acting CEO at CLE and Acting Secretary at CLE,” says the doctor.
He said the zeal and impunity with which the AG has been appointing Gitiri to various public position and coercing other appointing authorities in department to appointment her reeks impunity and a ‘shareholder’ attitude towards public service, where she is appointed to multiple seemingly lucrative and influential public appointments at the expense of many State Counsels at the Attorney Generals chambers and with connivance of the PSC through silence.
He faults PSC and the Victim Protection agency have failed, neglected and or refused to rein in Gitiri and AG in perpetuating impunity and are merely fence sitting AG intimidates them and perpetuates the concept of ‘shareholding’ in public service by allowing and appointing Gitiri to hold ten jobs, eight of which are in public service.
He adds that Gitiri is heavily conflicted mobilizing and raising revenue using her eight government offices for the benefit of a private entity called Living Water and writing as such on Living Water’s website on one hand and then on the other hand serving KRA a government of Kenya agency purporting to similarly raise revenue for the Government of the Republic of Kenya.