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Azziad, Akothee, Wahu, Churchill denied Talanta Hela committee appointments

TikToker Azziad Nasenya, musicians Akothee, Wahu Kagwi and comedian Daniel ‘Churchill’ Ndambuki have been barred from taking up their appointments to the Talanta Hela Creatives Technical Committee by Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

On Monday, the High Court suspended the establishment of the Talanta Hela programme, which Namwamba spearheaded with the blessing of President William Ruto.

President Ruto established the Talanta Hela Council on 10 February 2023 by aKenya Gazette Notice No 1649 (Vol. CXXV No.32) with the aim of nurturing talent at the grassroots level.

The council had two factions; a technical committee for sports led by veteran sports journalist Carol Radull and the other for creatives led by Churchill.

Also read: I can now retire peacefully, Churchill says after landing plum government job

Each member of both councils had been appointed for a three-year term, which the court also quashed.

In his order, Justice Lawrence Mugambi suspended the councils pending the determination of a case brought by creative enthusiast Charles Mugane.

Mugane approached the court in March, citing legal and constitutional flaws in the establishment of the council and accusing Namwamba of bias in the appointments.

In his application, Mugane alleged that Namwamba hand-picked the committee members without any parameters, including merit.

The petitioner further stated that the appointments were made in contravention of Section 10 of the Constitution.

The article sets out the national governance values and principles, including public participation, transparency and accountability.

Also read: Don’t count out Azziad! She deserves a spot on the govt. Creative Team

“Certainly, no selection process has been shown as to how the eleven were arrived at from the massive eight million Kenyans on the TikTok platform from which the appointees appear to have been drawn. Your (Namwamba’s) actions above are in flagrant disregard of the law which our client will not countenance,” Mugane Advocates said in court papers on behalf of Mugane.

Mugane wants evidence of public participation in the establishment of the council and the committee, as well as details of the budgets to support the council’s work.

In a brief ruling on Monday, Justice Mugambi said, “After hearing both counsel, the application for notice is hereby granted by way of an interim order suspending Special Gazette of Kenya Notice No 1640 (Vol.CXXV-No32) of 10 February 2023.”

Other members of the Creative Technical Committee are Akinyi Odonngo, veteran radio presenter Jimmy Gathuu, actress Catherine Kamau, Kizito Makhande, Awadhi Salim Awadhi, Douglas Kipkurui and Langat Susan Ekasiba.

The case will be listed for further directions on 12 June 2023.

Also read: CS Ababu Namwamba’s Bill to protect Kenyan creatives