Education minister Mutula Kilonzo has accused some politicians of misleading President Kibaki on the appointment of the 47 county commissioners.
He said the Head of State was “a captive and a victim of bad advice” that was hurting his credibility and image in the eyes of the public.
Reacting to a decision by the Office of the President to appeal against a High Court decision that dismissed the appointment of the commissioners, Mr Kilonzo said the government’s decision to appeal would further embarrass it.
He was speaking at Kathiani High School in Machakos County during the institution’s prize giving day on Saturday.
Acting Internal Security minister Yussuf Haji last week went to the High Court to appeal. But Mr Kilonzo said his colleague’s decision to appeal was self-defeating.
“Mr Haji should stop this circus. If the government’s chief legal adviser, the attorney-general, has seen no basis for appeal why is the minister embarrassing the government?” asked Mr Kilonzo. “This habit of ignoring court orders is setting a bad precedent and should stop.”
Elsewhere, Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto yesterday dismissed as a waste of public money the move by the government to hire a private lawyer to challenge the High Court ruling that nullified the appointment of the 47 commissioners.
Mr Ruto said the appeal was in bad taste considering that the country was headed for the next General Election.
At the same time, an opinion poll has shown that most Kenyans support county commissioners. The survey, carried out by Gallup Africa, says the majority of Kenyans want the officers retained in the counties.
The organisation’s research director, Mr Idi Pembere, said most people feel that the officers should discharge their duties without interference.
“Majority of the respondents from all regions support the presidential appointment of county commissioners by 60.9 per cent,” said Mr Pembere.
Reported by Bob Odalo, Geoffrey Rono and Peter Ngetich