(eTN) – The Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association confirmed that the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) has gotten the nod from stakeholders in the tourism industry to contest the decision of the Tourism Minister to dismiss the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) boss, Muriithi Ndegwa, and instead replace him with counterpart, Ms. Nzioka-Mbithi.
At the moment, the state corporations under the Ministry of Tourism have no functional boards presently. This matter is of grave concern to players in the tourism industry, more so in light of the upcoming general elections. A vast majority of tourism stakeholders are of the opinion that their concerns are not being properly addressed.
Of pertinent concern is the position of the Managing Director (MD) at the Kenya Tourist Board as well as the furor occasioned by Dan Mwazo when he decided to ignore the recommendations of the Board to reappoint the incumbent. Murrithi Ndegwa’s tenure at the helm of KTB was renewed by the Cabinet Secretary and head of public service, Francis Kimemia. Dan Mwazo, the Tourism Minister, on Friday made a dramatic entry into KTB’s offices with journalists and other members of the fourth estate in tow and announced that the Cabinet Secretary had no authority to reinstate the KTB boss.
He went ahead to eject Muriithi Ndegwa from the premises and appointed Ms. Nzioka Mbithi as the acting MD. The blogosphere was abuzz with sentiments that the minister’s actions would only serve to slowly and eventually derail the positive strides that KTB had made under the leadership of the incumbent. There were sentiments that the actions of the Tourism Minister would tarnish the positive image of the board which had just won the Best Tourist Board Qward in Africa.
Some bloggers and industry players opined that the Tourism Minister was not welcomed to attend the World Travel Market going on at London from November 5-8, 2012. As a result of this, key industry players wish to take a firm stand on this matter.
KTF has been charged with the task of filing for a court injunction that seeks to challenge the Minister’s decision. According to lawyers and jurists, challenging the move has a very strong legal basis as a result of the legal precedence (stare decisis) set by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) case. In the CCK case, the Minister of Information, Samuel Poghisio, overruled the board’s recommendations and when taken to court, the courts of law overruled his decision.
To be successful in obtaining the court injunction, the lawyers who will act on behalf of the tourism stakeholders through KTF need a resolution from the KTF Board authoring the suit to be filed, and if members are in agreement with this, the suit could be filed as early as November 5, 2012.