Court suspends appointments to Tourism board after Pauline Njoroge’s revocation

Najib Balala
Tourism CS Najib Balala. [Photo courtesy]

A Nairobi court on Thursday suspended the appointment of five Tourism Regulatory Authority Board members recently appointed by Tourism CS Najib Balala, among them KTN news anchor Najma Ismail who replaced Pauline Njoroge after her appointment was revoked.

Njoroge’s appointment was on Saturday revoked by Najib Balala following uproar by Kenyans over a statement she made years ago about Nairobi National Park.

Balala replaced her with the KTN screen siren but the Law Society of Kenya petitioned the appointments.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspended the appointments until the case is heard and determined.

The five were to serve for a three-year term.

“That pending the hearing and determination of this application interpartes, an interim order be and is hereby issued suspending the Gazette Notice Vol. CXXII- NO. 150 No. 5462 dated 7th August, 2020 notifying of the appointment of the Interested Parties herein as members of the Tourism Regulatory Board for a period of three years effective from 7th August, 2020,” Justice Wasilwa ordered.

LSK in its petition had argued that the appointments were done in an unconstitutional and illegal manner contrary to statutory provisions in law.

LSK President Nelson Havi said that the law requires the appointees to the board possess some knowledge in tourism and that the appointments be ratified by the National Assembly which did not happen.

According to the Tourism Act 2011, the board should consist “six other members, not being public officers, nominated or selected through a competitive process taking into account regional balance and gender parity and appointed by the Minister, of whom, two shall be nominated by the registered tourism sector associations and four shall be persons who have expertise in tourism or tourism-related disciplines.”

Further, “The names of persons proposed for appointment shall, before they are appointed, be laid before the National Assembly for approval.”