Court blocks three from board of water company

By: PHILIP MUYANGA

The appointment of three directors to the board of Mombasa Water Supply and Sanitation Company has been quashed.

The High Court Friday said the appointment of Mr Ketan Doshi, Ms Fatma Twahir and Mr Faiz Bajaber violated the Constitution.

It ordered the company to constitute a new board of directors within 90 days.

Coast Water Services Board had contended that the appointment of the three was irregular and illegal.

It said the manner in which the appointments were made violated clauses of the company’s articles and corporate governance.

The board also said that the three were handpicked by the company’s management and did not represent any known stakeholders in the water sector.

It added that the water supply company did not have powers or capacity to appoint board members.

The court noted that Mombasa Water was an agent of Coast Water Services Board and must realise that its role was not without regulation.

“Its function is one of agency and its duties must be exercised with due regard to the public,” Justice Anyara Emukule said.

“The company’s duty is to promote the right to clean water and sanitation. It should do so when implementing public policy decisions.”

The judge said the appointment of Mr Doshi, Ms Twahir and Mr Bajaber failed to honour the company’s memorandum and articles of association, the water industry regulatory guidelines and the constitutional principles of governance.

In its submissions, the firm argued that it was a private entity and had not violated any laws when making the appointments.

Water Services Regulatory Board, which was an interested party in the petition, said the appointments failed to follow a competitive process as the law required.

It also argued that there was no advertisement for the vacancies and the legal framework governing hiring was violated.

The judge said the appointments of the three violated the company’s memorandum and articles of association and the applicable corporate governance guidelines.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION