, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7 – A crutch on either of his sides, he quoted Constitutional provision after Constitutional provision on affirmative action.
First, Article 232; a general provision on the values of the public service — equal opportunity underscored.
Then he got the heart of the matter, Article 54 (2) of the Constitution which requires at least five percent of those elected or appointed to public bodies be persons with disabilities.
“However,” he took issue, “in the recent appointments only two out of 340 appointees are persons with disabilities which represents only 0.6 percent of the appointments,” Simon Ndubai, Vice Chair of the National Gender and Equality Commission, said of the recently gazetted appointment to parastatal boards.
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Given the bone of contention it was perhaps fitting that it was he, and not his able bodied chair, who raised it in the press.
And while Ndubai acknowledged that it was a, “progressive,” requirement in law, the precedent set, he said, did not inspire confidence in the appointing authority: the Executive.
Neither did reports, he said, that the same Executive was plotting to have the National Assembly amend the legal requirement that at least one of the three top cops, be female.
The provision in the cross hairs being Section 14(b) of the National Police Act which states:
“The National Police Service Commission, Parliament and President, as the case may be, shall ensure that at all times one of the three positions of the Inspector General and the two Deputy Inspectors-General is of opposite gender.”
Ndubai was categorical that the Commission would fight such a move with all the weapons in its arsenal given it was created for just that purpose: to safeguard affirmative action gains made through the adoption of progressive laws.
“We’ll go to court because we do not buy the argument that there are no women of merit within the police service,” he asserted.
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Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery had given that as the reason Grace Kaindi was replaced by a man, Joel Kitili, albeit in an acting capacity on her retirement and the reason the Independent Policing Oversight Authority backed the decision which has turned the top branch of the police organisational chart into an all male affair.