NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – The government has directed the 47 County Commissioners who were declared unconstitutional by the High Court on Friday to stay put.
Internal Security Permanent Secretary Mutea Iringo says Attorney General Githu Muigai would appeal the ruling on Monday.
“I assure you that you are here to stay as we expect a fair judgment after the appeal,” he said on Friday evening when he hurriedly closed an induction course for the County Commissioners at the Kenya Institute of Administration in Kabete after the court ruling.
The workshop was scheduled to be closed on Saturday by the Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia.
Iringo said: ” From here (KIA), you are required to go back to your work stations and continue with your work.”
The training was aimed at sensitizing the commissioners on how to work harmoniously with governors and senators once the County Government is established after the forthcoming general elections.
It was centered on civic education rationale and on the provisions of the Constitution to ensure the County Commissioners understand the law which they are supposed to implement.
Declaring the appointment of the 47 county commissioners by President Kibaki as unconstitutional, Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that the President had erred in the appointment as he had over looked several articles in the constitution.
But Iringo termed the ruling ‘questionable’ arguing that other government ministries had appointed and deployed County representatives.
Justice Ngugi also said that the President ignored the principle of gender balance when he unilaterally selected the County Commissioners.
“It is very difficult to respect the gender rule on some professions like the military and the police,” Iringo said.
During the opening ceremony of the County Commissioners workshop on Monday, Kimemia indicated that the government had plans to introduce new legislation to formalise their existence.
The law referred to as The National Administration and Co-ordination Bill 2012 and was to be tabled in Parliament soon, said Kimemia.
“The legislation is ready, it will enable the County Commissioners operate within a legal framework,” he said.
Kimemia said the law is aimed at cushioning the administrators to ensure they are legally in office. It will also outline their national functions.
The government was setting up the framework for the County Commissioners to ensure that by the time the Governors and Senators are elected, they will find the commissioners already in the government.
“We don’t expect to have gaps, and since the County Commissioners are expected to take over the functions of the Provincial Administration, the senators and governors should find them already in the office,” Kimemia said.
“There should be no conflict at all.”
All the eight Provincial Commissioners who were also present at the inaugural training were ordered to compile a list of assets and liabilities in their respective jurisdictions by August in readiness for hand-over to the county commissioners.
On Friday however Justice Ngugi ruled that the Head of State lacked the legal authority to make such a decision.
The judge also nullified the appointment on the strengths that the President went against the spirit of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act.
“The act requires him to consult Prime Minister Raila Odinga whenever appointments to senior government offices are made,” she said.
Civil society activist Patrick Njuguna, Charles Omanga and the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) filed the petition.