, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga now says the next government should be the one to appoint County Commissioners and not President Mwai Kibaki.
Castigating the move by Acting Internal Security Minister Yussuf Haji to appeal the ruling which annulled the appointments, the PM insisted that the appointments were unlawful.
“The Constitution says that the provincial administration shall be restructured to conform to the devolved system of government and not the devolved government to be restructured to conform to the provincial administration. That national government that the Constitution talks of is not in place and will only be in place after the next elections,” he said.
He says the matter should have been settled after Attorney General Githu Muigai advised the government against appealing the ruling.
“After the AG has given his advice and the Minister of Justice is in concurrence where does another Minister (Haji) now come from with an appeal, for which government?” Posed the premier. “What kind of government is this that an appeal is lodged without the Prime Minister being consulted? This is utter nonsense!”
Odinga who spoke during the launch of the National Convention of the Orange Young Democrats League at the Bomas of Kenya reiterated his earlier claim that the election next year will pit reformers against non-reformers.
“Some other people are telling us that we need no side mirrors to drive, but we have to know where we are coming from and where we are heading to. We need to ask people where they have been in the reform process and like in previous other encounters we will have those for status quo against those for change,” he affirmed.
On Wednesday Haji ignored legal advice by Muigai and filed a notice to appeal against the High Court decision issued two weeks ago against the presidential appointees.
In the notice filed at the High Court, the Minister through lawyer Kibe Mungai said Justice Mumbi Ngugi was wrong in sending the officers home.
Mungai said the decision was based on misconception of transitional provisions of the Constitution as per Schedule Six.
“The decision was founded on provisions of the new Constitution that have been suspended,” Mungai said on Thursday.
In her ruling on June 29, Justice Ngugi declared the President had erred in the appointment of the commissioners as he had overlooked a number of Articles in the Constitution.
“The President did not have the legal authority to make such appointments and his decision was against the spirit of the Constitution and the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which called for consultation and gender balance,” Justice Mumbi ruled.
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.
But in the intent to appeal, Mungai says the judge had ignored Section 23 and 24 of the Constitution and as such has technically paralysed the capacity of the President to discharge his functions.
The appointment was challenged in court by civil society activists Patrick Njuguna, Charles Omanga and the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) filed the petition.