Lobby sues Treasury over hiring of 350 accountants
The 350 accountants recently employed at the National Treasury risk losing their jobs after a lobby group moved to court challenging their recruitment.
Sheria Mtaani wants the court to bar Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani from appointing the accountants on grounds that the recruitment process was unlawful and unconstitutional.
Public Service Commission had in February advertised that only 250 positions in the grade of Accountant II were vacant and available for filling.
However, on September 23 PSC wrote to Treasury CS recommending appointment of the 350.
Court papers state that the group wants the court to issue a conservatory order staying the implementation of PSC communication to Treasury recommending the appointments.
“That in the interim and pending the hearing and determination of this application, this court be and is hereby pleased to issue an order temporarily restraining the Second Respondent (National Treasury) from in any manner acting or implementing the First Respondent’s recommendations communicated vide a letter dated September 23,” the court papers.
Through lawyer Shadrack Wambui, the group argues that PSC has unlawfully recommended the 350 for employment contrary to its advertisement to the general public in February that only 250 positions in the grade of Accountant II were vacant and available for filling.
“That the vacancy in the Treasury related to the 250 positions in the office of Accountant II with an attractive package, which included a term of service of three-year contract that was to be renewable upon satisfactory performance by the employer herein the respondent,” says Wambui.
Sheria Mtaani further argues that PSC has unlawfully conducted the recruitment of 350 persons for the 250 positions that had been advertised through a skewed process conducted in an unaccountable manner that flouts and violates the national values and principles of governance.
“That the imminent illegal, unlawful, arbitrary and unconstitutional employment/appointment of the 350, if not stopped, is likely to cause the loss of an unknown but colossal amounts of public money in the payment of salaries and allowances to persons, whose process of employment fails the constitutional master of transparency and accountability,” the group argues.
The group says that PSC chief executive Dr Simon Rotich, on September 23 wrote to the Treasury CS recommending the appointment of the 350 without conducting interviews or publication of the shortlisted candidates through a nationwide notice in a newspaper, radio or any other popular mode of communication as is required under law
In the documents filed in court, Wambui says PSC, also in unlawful and unprecedented fashion, changed the terms of employment of the 350 persons from the three-year contract period to permanent and pensionable in another opaque manner.