Gender Commission seeks to stop implementation of new National Police Service Act

Monday January 11 2016

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery (right) with Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet during a media briefing at Harambee House, Nairobi on December 22, 2015.  The National Gender and Equality Commission on January 11, 2016 sued  Mr Nkaissery and the Attorney General while faulting them of violating a key provision containing the framework of mainstreaming gender equality in the police service at the top leadership. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM  | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery (right) with Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet during a media briefing at Harambee House, Nairobi on December 22, 2015. The National Gender and Equality Commission on January 11, 2016 sued Mr Nkaissery and the Attorney General while faulting them of violating a key provision containing the framework of mainstreaming gender equality in the police service at the top leadership. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAUREEN KAKAH
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The National Gender and Equality Commission is seeking to stop implementation of an amendment made in the National Police Service Act on the procedure for appointing a deputy Inspector General.

In a suit filed on Monday, the Commission sued the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and the Attorney General while faulting them of violating a key provision containing the framework of mainstreaming gender equality in the police service at the top leadership.

According to NGEC’s chair Mr Winfred Lichuma, the miscellaneous bill 2015 published on December 15, 2015 after being passed in the National Assembly, the amendment in sections of the National Police Service Act is retrogressive as it suggests that there are ‘positions or jobs which women are incapable of performing’.

Through lawyer Mr Sylvester Muli, there is imminent danger that should the said office fall vacant, a new deputy Inspector General will be appointed with the new law that came into effect on December 29, 2015.

Mr Muli said that the gender commission had issued advisories to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the National Assembly separately over the matter but they had been ignored.

“To preserve the principle of equality as in the constitution, it is only fair and just that an order be issued to stop the application or operation of the changes contained in section 2 of the miscellaneous amendment act 2015 deleting Section 14(b) of the NPS act pending the hearing and determination of this case,” Mr Muli said.

DECLARE POSITION VACANT

The procedure for appointment of a deputy Inspector General requires NPSC to declare the position vacant and advertise it within 14 days from the date vacancy occurred, vet, interview and shortlist at least three persons whose names shall be gazetted prior to being forwarded to the president to act in a week’s time.

The deleted NPS Act states that the entire recruitment and appointment of the inspector general and his two deputies, the commission, parliament and president shall ensure that at all times one of the three positions is of opposite gender.

Even though Ms Kaindi was transferred to an unnamed diplomatic position, there were several filed suits in court to challenge the manner in which she was sacked but she consequently obtained orders from the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspending her alleged retirement.

The former deputy Inspector General Ms Grace Kaindi was replaced by Mr Joel Kitili in acting capacity after being ousted out of office on grounds that she had attained retirement age.

The announcement of the changes were made on September 1, 2015 but Ms Kaindi declined to vacate office demanding to be given an official discharge letter from the National Police Service Commission which is listed as an interested party in this case.