The Employment and Labour relations court has suspended the declaration of illegality of Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) from taking effect for a period of 90 days.
In her ruling, Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa said that Nairobi city is the seat of Government of Kenya, the capital city and also the largest commercial hub in Central and East Africa, and home to over 4 million.
She took note that following the transfer of functions, Parliament had expended its budget and allocated funds to NMS. The residents of the city are already benefitting from the functions so far transferred. Further, the life of the employees seconded or deployed to the NMS hang in the balance should the magistrate quash NMS.
Therefore, given that money has been expended and staff deployed, services are being rendered, the effect of quashing NMS at the moment would cause confusion and pandemonium which will lead to lack of services to the residents of Nairobi.
Activist Okiya Omtata had moved to court saying:
- The purported creation of NMS was unlawful and unconstitutional therefore invalid, null, and void
- The appointment of Major Mohamed Badi and the NMS steering committee was unconstitutional
- The arbitrarily secondment by the Public Service Commission of some 6,052 employees from the Nairobi County Government to the NMS is unlawful and unconstitutional
- The requirement that the 6,052 seconded employees must go by their thousands in only two days to collect their secondment letters from the NMS offices during the current lockdown to fight COVID19 pandemic was reckless, irrational, unreasonable and unlawful threat to life and health
Considering the above, Omtata asked the court to quash the creation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.
NMS creation in effect transferred the functions of the County Government to the National Government on 25 February 2020. In this case, the county government surrendered four core functions;
- County Health Service
- County Transport service
- County public works, utilities and ancillary services
- County government Planning and development
Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa suspended the declaration of illegality of NMS from taking effect for a period of 90 days in which period the NMS should be established by law and the instruments of its establishment made.