Permanent Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and corporative Peter Munya has refuted allegations of unlawful dismissal by EPZA former CEO.
The petitioner Daniel Odede Kidenda filed a law suit against the PS seeking orders to have him reinstated.
The former CEO argues the then CS Aden Mohamed had extended his term for another three years. However, after cabinet reshuffle, Munya who took over from Aden dismissed him and appointed George Makateto as acting CEO.
In his replying affidavit, Munya states that section 6(1) of the Export processing zones Act Cap 517 gives him (the PS) the power to appoint the Chief executive of EPZA on conditions and terms of employment which shall be determined by the minister.
He further states that he has the power to remove the CEO from office.
According to the CS, Kidenda was first appointed in September 2015 and the contract was for a fixed period of three years.
“The contract expired in September 2018 and was not renewed,” states Munya.
However, Munya confirms that he visited the corporation’s headquarters where he informed the former CEO of his intention to appoint an acting CEO.
“I further introduced the new acting CEO in the presence of the former and board members and instructed him to hand over to his successor the following day since he contract was expiring on that day,” says Munya.
He termed the purported appointment and contract of 31st July 2018 as fraudulent as it was signed without due process and procedure.
Munya adds that Kidenda lied as his predecessor was out of the country on the dates of the alleged extension.
“My predecessor had travelled to the United States of America on official duty from 7th to 14th July 2018 hence he could not have been physically present to approve, confirm and renew the petitioner’s reappointment.
He argues that the petitioner has not demonstrated that the decision to appoint the new CEO George Makateto was unreasonable, irrational or illegal and neither the petitioners demonstrated that the appointed candidate lacks skills and qualifications.
However, the Kidenda’s lawyers led by Dunstan Omari, submitted that Aden had travelled outside the country in company of Kidenda and others on official duty when he wrote and signed the letter.
The court heard that the reappointment letter was addressed to the session Chairman informing the EPZA board of the appointment of the petitioner as CEO for another three years and attached a dully signed gazette notice.
Omari therefore stated that the former Industrialization CS did receive the letter dated 6th July 2018 from the corporation’s Board communicating a resolution to extend the term of the CEO.
Omari submitted that Aden is the author of the said reappointment letter and signed the gazette notice, therefore not forged as alleged by Munya and EPZA.
According to Omari, Aden was still in office on 11th July 2018 when he confirmed the renewal of Kidenda’s contact before handing over cabinet portfolios to Munya.
“The reappointment went through the due process and Aden approved the contract,” said Omari.
Munya is accused of refusing to gazette the same and therefore there was no illegality on the part of Kidenda.