The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Transparency International Kenya filed a petition challenging the appointment of former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu to the Nairobi Rivers Commission.
LSK stated that Waititu was unfit for any appointment for any public office or as an officer of the state, by the head of state or otherwise.
Additionally, they stated that once removed from office, persons should not be reelected or appointed for any public office as was the case with Waititu.
“The respondent lacks the moral aptitude, ethical foundation, and above reproach integrity that would depict a state office worthy of receiving any commendations from the Head of State or appointment to being a state office," LSK stated.
The petitioners further demanded that the court stopped Waititu from assuming office and advised the government against making such appointments.
"The only viable solution is for this court to put an end to all of this by forbidding the 1st Respondent from taking office and from holding any public office indefinitely.
“In addition, the 2nd Respondent ought to be compelled to advise the government as such and for them to desist from continuing in their folly,” the petition read in part.
Based on the constitution’s threshold of integrity for government officials, the petitioners argued that Waititu’s appointment was illegal.
“We as the Petitioners, take issue with the appointment of Ferdinand Clifford Ndungu Waititu Babayao, the 1st Respondent herein, who was removed from office by impeachment by the County Assembly of Kiambu, a decision upheld by the Senate of Kenya on January 29, 2020, and not contested by the 1st Respondent.
“Once removed from office by impeachment for violation of the constitution one ceases to enjoy the right to be appointed into any state office hence the appointment of Waititu is unlawful,” LSK stated.
Waititu was appointed as a member of the commission by President William Ruto alongside eight others including Pamela Olet, Mumo Musuva, Grace Senewa, Eva Muhia, Elizabeth Wathuti, Carlota Dal Lago, Elijah Biama, and Duncan Ojwang.
President Ruto stated in a Gazette Notice dated December 2, 2022, that the Nairobi Rivers Commission was tasked with reclaiming the rivers of Nairobi as a spine to the city's blue and green infrastructure for a better urban environment and quality of life.
In January 2020, Senators upheld the impeachment of Waititu, who had been elected in 2017 as Kiambu's second governor, succeeding William Kabogo.