NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 4 – The Office of the Attorney General has defended the legality of Grace Kaindi’s removal as Deputy Inspector General of Police arguing that she has attained the retirement age of 60.
The office of the AG has therefore opposed a suit seeking to have her reinstated.
The AG’s office says the activist seeking her reinstatement has failed to demonstrate how her removal directly affects him and his application should therefore be dismissed.
Activist Zachary Onsongo moved to the High Court on Thursday challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s replacement of Kaindi as Deputy IG in charge of the Kenya Police with GSU Commandant Joel Kitili in an acting capacity.
He argues that President Kenyatta seeks to reverse the affirmative action gains women in Kenya have made by replacing her with a man and violated the National Police Service Act in the process.
Section 14(b) of the Act requires that at least one of the three top ranking police officers be of the opposite gender.
Onsongo has also argued that Kaindi should have served out her term as Deputy IG to 2018 as she had security of tenure.
He’s also accused President Kenyatta of usurping the powers of the National Police Service Commission in making the appointment.
A number of women’s groups have added their voice to that of the National Gender and Equality Commission in expressing their disapproval at the manner in which Kaindi was “hounded” out of office.
The Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA), the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW), the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), the Community Advocacy and Awareness Trust (CRAWN) and the Bulamwa Society have demanded that President Kenyatta rescind his decision to remove Kaindi and replace her with Kitili, albeit in an interim capacity, or face further court action as soon as Monday.
“You cannot temporarily violate the law by failing to have a woman DIG and hiding behind the word ‘acting’. We are aware that the National Gender and Equality Commission has already written an advisory to the President and would consider moving to court should he fail to heed their advice,” Daisy Amdany, the Executive Director of CRAWN, noted.
The coalition of women’s groups has taken issue with the, “unprocedural,” manner in which Kaindi was ejected from office saying it appeared to be part of a systematic effort to frustrate women in high ranking public offices.
They also took issue with Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery’s argument that there were no women of sufficient rank to take over from Kaindi.
“We can give him a list if he’d like. We also find it ironical when Kenyans are well aware that the choice of the current Inspector General was not on the basis of the best in rank. Why apply different standards for women?” FIDA-Kenya Deputy Executive Director Teresa Omondi posed.