COTU wins battle for place in NSSF board
09 April 2014, 12:39
Nairobi - The Central Organisation of Trade Unions COTU has won a major victory in its fight for
positions on public boards when a court directed Labour Minister Kazungu Kambi
to name its nominee to the NSSF board.
Justice George Odunga yesterday ordered Mr Kambi to appoint
and gazette Ms Damaris Wanjiku from the Central Organisation of Trade Unions,
COTU on the NSSF board “as is obliged by the law” before allegations of another
workers’ body, Public Servants Trade Union, PUSETU came into the limelight.
“The minister has taken unjustifiable time to appoint
the representative to the National Social Security Fund, NSSF,” Justice Odunga
According to the Judge, “the anterior motives” of the
minister warranted the intervention of the court because “he could not
understand the reasons behind the minister’s delays to appoint the COTU
“I order that the minister appoints and gazettes the COTU
nominee to the NSSF board,” Justice Odunga held.
He also said that it was clear that the rights of the Cotu
nominee had been violated, grossly infringed and that the minister as a
decision maker acted in a manner that was detrimental to the powers parliament
has bestowed on him.
“Parliament gave powers to the Cabinet Secretary to appoint
the NSSF board nominees. The minister has no luxury to stagger the appointments
the way he wants,” Justice Odunga said.
He termed the actions by Mr Kambi as insensitive and an
abuse of the descretion of his office.
The judge also said that it was a mandate given to the
minister for the good of all the employees of Kenya to be represented in the
Mr kambi has denied the employees of Kenya a chance to be
represented in the NSSF board by not engaging the recommended appointee from
COTU, he said.
The decision by the court comes in the wake of supremacy
battles between COTU and PUSETU over membership in national boards with both
bodies claiming a stake in the representation of workers.
Cotu Secretary General, Francis Atwoli in papers filed in
court lamented that on October 2013, the workers umbrella body sent the name of
their nominee Ms Wanjiku and three months down the line, the Cabinet Secretary
had not acted on the COTU request prompting them to file the suit against the
He said that Mr kambi instead appointed two nominees from government
and one from the Federation of Kenya Employers, FKE, “deliberately omitting any
mention of COTU’s nominee.”
COTU further argued that this was in contravention of the
National Social Security Fund Cap 258 Laws of Kenya, which allowed the workers body
to provide a name of its nominee to be appointed to the NSSF board.
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