NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has now moved to the High Court seeking to have the impasse between the County and National governments resolved.
Through Gitobu Imanyara and Company Advocates, the LSK argues that the current formation of County Commissioners, Assistant County Commissioners, Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs is illegal.
LSK said that these offices were inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution which require the national government to structure administration units that respect devolution.
The civil society felt that it was illegal for the Public Service Commission to appoint County Commissioners, Assistant County Commissioners, Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs because such appointments should be left to Governors and County Assemblies.
“The Petitioner prays for an order that provincial administration purported to be structured under the National Government Co-ordination Act 2013 be deemed to be appointments under the County Government Act 2012 and accountable to the Governor and County Assembly,” read the petition.
The LSK also wants some sections of the National Government Coordination Act 2013 declared unconstitutional because they undermine devolution as envisaged by the Constitution.
Section 15 and 20 of the Act sets out the appointment methodologies for County Commissioners and their Assistants together with Chiefs and their Assistants placing them under the National Administration.
It also states that Chiefs, their Assistants and any other administrative officers who were in office before the Act was passed shall be deemed to be national government officers, redeployed in the public service.
“These Sections are accordingly null and void to the extent of the inconsistencies and all appointments by the 2nd (PSC) and 3rd Respondents (Attorney General) to offices created under the said sections are invalid, null and void,” argued LSK.
Governors have been accusing the national government of attempting to usurp their roles as set out by the Constitution. They feel that there should be a clear separation of power between the two systems or risk undermining devolution.
LSK Chairman Eric Mutua said there was an urgent need for devolution to take off smoothly in accordance with the law.
Mutua urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to commit himself and his government to diligently implement the Constitution within the remaining timeline of two years as set out in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The Transition Authority has also been served with the petition.