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PM faults appeal against ruling over county bosses

Friday July 13 2012

Mr Odinga said he was kept in the dark over the decision by Internal Security ministry to appeal the court ruling that declared the appointment of 47 county commissioners unconstitutional. Photo/FILE

Mr Odinga said he was kept in the dark over the decision by Internal Security ministry to appeal the court ruling that declared the appointment of 47 county commissioners unconstitutional. Photo/FILE 

By NATION TEAM [email protected]

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has criticised decision by Internal Security ministry to appeal the court ruling that declared the appointment of 47 county commissioners unconstitutional.

Describing it as utter ‘nonsense’, Mr Odinga on Friday said he was kept in the dark over the move.

He said he was baffled that even after Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa advised against the appeal, acting Internal Security Minister Yusuf Haji went ahead and did so.

“The court made its ruling declaring the appointments unconstitutional, the AG agreed with it and advised against an appeal so did the justice minister, yet some minister goes ahead and makes an appeal… what sought of government is this?” he said.

“This is nonsense…the Constitution is very clear that the Provincial Administration must be restructured in line with the provisions of a devolved structure and not the other way round.”

He spoke in Nairobi at ODM’s young democrat’s league national convention at the Bomas of Kenya.

The appointments, the PM said, should wait until a national government is formed after the General Election.

On Wednesday, Mr Wamalwa said the county bosses were in office illegally and asked them to leave.

A day later, Mr Haji, filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal Registry in Nairobi, stating that he was dissatisfied with the ruling that was delivered by Justice Mumbi Ngugi on June 29.

Judge Ngugi ruled that the appointments violated the gender equality rule, and that the PM should have been consulted in line with the National Accord and Reconciliation Act.

Mr Odinga’s remarks came hours after rights activists moved to the High Court in Nairobi to compel the Internal Security ministry to comply with the ruling.

Mr Charles Omanga and Mr Caleb Okech want Internal Security PS Mutea Iringo to revoke the appointments in three days.

The activists also accuse the PS of bypassing the Attorney-General and employing a private law firm to appeal against the nullification.

“The PS is reported to have instructed the commissioners to disregard the ruling,” the activists said through lawyer Antony Oluoch.

Lawyers have questioned the hiring of Lawyer Kibe Muigai to lead the appeal, with law professor Kithure Kindiki saying it was a waste of taxpayers’ money as this was the AG’s job.

The case will be heard inter-parties on Tuesday.

On Friday, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi defended the hiring of Mr Mungai.

“The government is a client who has disagreed with his advocate (AG) and is therefore free to seek legal advice from other lawyers,” he said.

Reported by Dave Opiyo, Abiud Ochieng and Benjamin Muindi