Uncertainty continues to surround the fate of the top office at the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority as the term of its current Director-General Pavel Oimeke ends this week.
There has not been any communication on whether his tenure ending this Friday will be renewed or a new appointee will take over the office he has occupied since 2017.
Until last Friday, top ministry of Energy officials remained guarded on the fate of the Epra boss, which has been contested in court with the latest petition certified as urgent on Friday and hearing set for tomorrow before Justice Byram Ongaya of the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
Petition 114 of 2020 seeks to bar the Ministry of Energy from reappointing the current office holder for another three years until the hearing and determination with the petitioner seeking the position to be filled competitively.
“Automatic appointment without any form of competition will be prejudicial to interested Kenyans who would have applied for the position of DG in the authority hence will be discriminatory and a violation of Article 27 of the Constitution and section 5 of the Employment Act,” the petitioner says.
An earlier application filed in March by a Mr Dindi Oscar Okumu was withdrawn on July 13 in a matter that the petitioner personally initiated without the lawyers who had been representing him in the case.
Mr Okumu had also sought conservatory orders restraining the parent ministry from deliberating, renewing and or extending the contract of Mr Oimeke as the director general Epra until the application had been heard and determined.
The petitioner accused the Epra boss of irregular issuance of licences and appointments that had failed to ‘reflect the face of Kenya’ with close to 80 percent of his recruits reportedly from one community.
“That for the last two and a half years that the 1st respondent has managed the authority, his tenure has been marred with massive corruption, losses to the authority and the general public, tribalism, abuse of office, mismanagement of the authority and its resources, intimidation of employees, subverting of justice by withdrawal of cases against illegal petroleum and gas business operators, illegal tendering and contracts, irregular earning of pension contributions from the authority and tax evasion among others,” Mr Okumu wrote in a sworn affidavit.
Source: The Nation