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Churchill-led Talanta Hela Committee hits bump after court ruling

Talanta Hela Committee, led by Churchill dealt a blow by High Court verdict

Daniel 'Churchill' Ndambuki & CS Youth Affairs, Sports & Arts Ababu Namwamba

TikTok sensation Azziad Nasenya, renowned musicians Akothee, Wahu Kagwi, and popular comedian Daniel 'Churchill' Ndambuki and eleven others have been met with disappointment after court suspended their appointments on the Talanta Hela Creatives Technical Committee.

This development comes in the wake of the High Court's decision on Monday to suspend the establishment of the Talanta Hela Committee, which Namwamba had initiated with the support of President William Ruto.

The Talanta Hela Council, created by President Ruto through a Kenya Gazette Notice No 1649 (Vol. CXXV No.32) on February 10, 2023, aimed to nurture grassroots talent.

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The decision to appoint the eleven members was made by Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, causing a stir within the creative industry.

The Creative Technical Committee, chaired by comedian Daniel' Churchill' Ndambuki, consists of Akinyi Odongo, Jimmi Gathu, Catherine Kamau, Esther Akoth, Kizito Makhande, TikToker Azziad Nasenya, Rosemary Wahu Kagwi, Awadhi Salim Awadhi, Douglas Kipkirui, and Langat Susan Ekasiba.

However, the council was divided into two factions, a sports technical committee led by veteran sports journalist Carol Radull and a creatives committee led by Churchill.

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The court not only halted the activities of both councils but also invalidated the three-year appointments of the council members.

The suspension was issued by Justice Lawrence Mugambi in response to a case filed by creative enthusiast Charles Mugane.

Mugane had approached the court in March, raising concerns about legal and constitutional irregularities in the council's establishment.

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He accused Namwamba of biased appointments, alleging that committee members were hand-picked without any consideration for merit.

Mugane's application argued that the appointments were made in violation of Section 10 of the Constitution, which outlines national governance values and principles such as public participation, transparency, and accountability.

The lack of a selection process and the failure to involve the public were key points of contention.

"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.

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"Your (Namwamba's) actions above are in flagrant disregard of the law which our client will not countenance," the petition reads in part.

Mugane also demanded evidence of public participation in the council and committee's establishment, as well as details of the budgets allocated to support their work.

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"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," Justice Mugambi declared in a concise ruling on Monday.

The court scheduled the case for further directions on June 12, 2023.

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