Bomet county Woman Representative, Linet Chepkorir, alias “Toto” is facing a legal battle over allegations of nepotism in the recruitment of her office staff.
Two Bomet residents, Collins Barno and Stanley Kiprotich Bii have filed a suit at the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi, claiming that the MP failed to meet the minimum requirements of transparency, fair competition, merit and integrity in the recruitment process.
The petitioners allege that six of the 15 staff members hired by the MP are her family relatives and cumulatively receive a monthly salary of Sh612,000 out of the Sh811,000 allocated for staff salaries.
They also claim that the MP ignored the gender principle, which is a requirement in public appointments, as dictated by the constitution.
According to the petitioners, the MP’s actions are not only nepotistic but also prejudicial to the rule of law in running a public office.
They argue that unless the appointments are quashed by the court, it will set a dangerous precedent in the country where public institutions and appointments will be made unlawfully and irregularly.
The petitioners claim that they were waiting to apply for the job openings but were surprised to find that the MP had handpicked family members and relatives.
The MP is also being challenged for failing to ensure inclusivity and equality in the recruitment process and for not clearing the appointed staff with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, as required by law.
There are only three women out of the 15 staff she has employed in her office.
In addition to their claims of nepotism and irregularities in the recruitment process, the petitioners are also challenging the appointments made by the Bomet County Woman Representative, Linet Chepkorir, on the grounds that the public was not allowed to participate in the process.
They argue that this exclusion of the public renders the whole thing as unlawful and constitutes an unfair labour practice.
The petitioners are calling for the court to declare the appointments null and void, unlawful, and unconditional, and for the MP and Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to recruit their support staff following the guidelines issued by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and strictly in accordance with the law.
Justice James Rika transferred the petition to the Employment and Labour Relations court in Eldoret, stating that it was more convenient for the case to be heard closer to Bomet.
“This Petition involves Bomet County. The Employment and Labour Relations Court is in Eldoret, Kisumu, Bungoma and Nakuru, which centres are nearer to Bomet, than Nairobi. There is no reason for the Petition to be filed and heard in the Court at Nairobi,” said Justice Rika.
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