Ezekiel Owour Otieno is the brand new substantive Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Chief Government officer, the Employment and Labour Relations Courtroom has declared.
Justice James Rika made the declaration in a judgment rendered on Tuesday, February 28, after declining an try by EPZ Authority Board and Commerce Cupboard Secretary Moses Kuria to overturn the courtroom’s earlier choice that upheld Otieno’s appointment because the CEO.
The decide additionally ordered the Board Authority, the CS Commerce and the Legal professional Common to completely adjust to the courtroom’s judgment dated July 29, 2022, that upheld Otieno because the legally appointed CEO of EPZA.
“The Commerce Cupboard Secretary shall instantly, gazette the appointment of Otieno as the brand new substantive CEO of the authority,” the decide directed.
The choice of the courtroom yesterday comes after the state company has been practically six years with no substantive CEO following a number of lawsuits.
Whereas declining the request for evaluation of a judgment, Justice Rika famous the company board and the Commerce CS didn’t place earlier than him passable causes to warrant the courtroom put aside its earlier choice that upheld Otieno’s appointment and revoked the reappointment of Henry Obino because the performing CEO of EPZ.
“The courtroom cannot undo its judgment, or undo the appointment of Ezekiel Owour Otieno because the CEO, of EPZ. The courtroom was glad, as it’s as we speak, that the recruitment of Otieno because the CEO EPZ, was carried out in accordance with the legislation, ” Justice Rika dominated
The decide said that Otieno was competitively recruited, and meritocracy in public service, below Article 232 of the structure, calls for that the job be given to him.
“This courtroom doesn’t see why Otieno ought to be denied the job, having utilized for the job, shortlisted, interviewed and emerged on the high, ” Justice Rika dominated.
Additional, the decide disputed the Commerce CS arguments that there have been anomalies within the recruitment of the CEO, noting that the Board which gave the suggestions to nominate Otieno because the CEO was quorate, with 12 to 13 members current and there’s no compelling causes tabled earlier than the courtroom to recommend any member was conflicted.
Through the recruitment course of, Otieno scored the best by the Board, at 87.5 p.c whereas his closest contenders Orumol Tajeu Johah Mzee and Mohammed Noor, scored 73.4 p.c and 72.18 p.c respectively.
The courtroom noticed that EPZA has been with no substantive CEO since 2018 which will be attributed to vested pursuits.
” The Board EPZA has not glad the necessities of rule 33 of the Employment and Labour Relations Courtroom (Process) Guidelines, 2016, in searching for to invoke the evaluation jurisdiction of this courtroom, ” Justice Rika famous.
Final yr the courtroom declared the appointment of Obino because the performing CEO of authority as invalid and that the CS Commerce can’t overrule the board on the appointment of the CEO of the EPZA.
The choice was made after activist and now Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah challenged the choice by then CS Peter Munya dated August 2021 to re-appoint Henry Obino to the place of performing CEO of the authority for a interval of three months. The identical was later quashed by the courtroom after discovering that the CS erred in legislation within the appointment of Obino.
The company board has struggled to recruit a CEO since former Cupboard Secretary Munya axed Fanuel Odede Kideda because the EPZA chief government in September 2018 and named George Makateto to exchange him.
The appointment was nevertheless stopped by the courts after Odeda sued in opposition to his dismissal.
Stephen Odua was then appointed CEO in an performing capability and was changed in 2021 by Henry Obino who additionally took over on a brief foundation earlier than Omtatah filed the go well with.