, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – An activist has filed a case in court to challenge the replacement of Grace Kaindi as Deputy Inspector General in charge of the Kenya Police.
Zachary Onsongo argues that despite reaching the retirement age of 60, Kaindi enjoyed security of tenure and should have served out her term which was set to expire in 2018.
Onsongo has also accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of violating the law in his appointment of GSU Commandant Joel Kitili to replace Kaindi in an acting capacity saying he usurped the role of the National Police Service Commission.
He’s also accused President Kenyatta of violating the National Police Service Act which in Section 14(b) stipulates that: “In the entire recruitment and appointment process of the Inspector-General or Deputy Inspector-General, the 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 Inspector-Generals is of opposite gender.”
Onsongo has therefore petitioned the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court to quash Kitili’s appointment.
Justice Monica Mbaru certified the petition as urgent and directed that the Attorney General be served before Friday when an inter-partes will be held.
The National Gender and Equality Commission had also threatened to move to court over Kitili’s appointment should President Kenyatta fail to heed their advisory and remedy the situation by ensuring that at least one of three top ranking police officers is of the opposite gender as required by law.
Chairperson Winfred Lichuma said President Kenyatta must have been “misadvised.”
“The law is very clear. Section 14 (b) of the National Police Service Act stipulates that there must be a person of the opposite gender at all times. Placing Acting ahead of the title doesn’t make it an exception.”
She also took issue with Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery’s defence that were no high ranking female officers to take over from Kaindi.
“Look at (Joseph) Boinnet and (David) Kimaiyo. They weren’t necessarily the highest ranking officers at the time of their appointment.”
President Kenyatta appointed Kitili to take over from Kaindi with “immediate effect” on Tuesday.
The reason given for Kaindi’s replacement was that she had attained the retirement age of 60.
The reason given for Kitili’s selection was “to ensure a smooth transition” before a substantive replacement is identified.