The Court of Appeal has ordered the reinstatement of sacked members of the National Standards Council (NSC), whose appointment was quashed in July over claims that they had not been competitively picked.
The three-judge bench of the appellate court ruled that the absence of the Kenya Bureau of Standards’ NSC members would expose Kenyans to the danger of substandard products.
Justices Asike Makhandia, Jamila Mohammed and Hellen Omondi noted the NSC is mandated to set standards, approve, certify and permit all manufactured and imported goods and local produce to ensure that they meet set standards.
“This is a clear case of public interest prevailing over individual or personal interest. The appeal will further be rendered nugatory as the applicants will have to be replaced as the institution cannot run without substantive office bearers,” the judges said.
In July, the Employment and Labour Court judge Maureen Onyango quashed the appointment of Bernard Ngore as the chairperson of the NSC and members Rogers Ochako Abisai, including the Kebs CEO Bernard Njiraini, among others.
Justice Onyango ruled that appointments in a state organ or corporation or public officer that do not comply with the requirements are illegal.
“The respondents do not deny that the 5th to 13th respondents were handpicked by the 1st respondent,” she said, adding that the PS industrialisation Francis Owino admitted that the appointments were not competitive.
The NSC, through lawyer Titus Koceyo, argued that there is no institution currently safeguarding the quality of products consumed locally, exposing the public to immense health and safety risks.
The board members included Mary Wanja Matu, Helen Kabeti, Fouzia Abdirahman, Patrick Musiu, Edward Njoroge, Eric Mungai, and Gilbert Lang’at.