Court declines to suspend law on hiring of Deputy IG

Wednesday January 13 2016

Justice Isaac Lenaola

Justice Isaac Lenaola. He accuses Mr Itumbi of defaming him on Twitter. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The High Court on Wednesday declined to grant temporary reprieve to the National Gender and Equality Commission after a judge refused to suspend a new law on the procedure of appointing a deputy police boss.

Justice Isaac Lenaola said he could not issue any orders until a hearing of the case is completed and until he listens to both parties in the suit.

“For avoidance of doubt, no interim orders are granted until parties argue this matter,” Justice Lenaola said.

The judge directed that the case be heard on January 22 before he could decide on whether to stop the challenged law on the procedure of appointing a deputy Inspector General of Police as per the gender commission’s request to the court.

The NGEC moved to court on Monday, accusing Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and the Attorney-General Githu Muigai of violating a key provision containing the framework of mainstreaming gender equality in the police service at the top leadership.

Through lawyer Sylvester Muli, the NGEC sued the Interior CS and the AG following the passing of the Miscellaneous Bill 2015 in the National Assembly that had amendments in sections of the National Police Service Act.

The amendment was a deleted clause which states that in the entire recruitment and appointment of the inspector-general and two deputies, the National Police Service Commission, Parliament and the President should ensure that at all times, one of the three positions is held by a person of the opposite gender.

According to the gender commission, the changes in the law that came into effect on December 29, 2015, imply that there are "positions or jobs which women are incapable of hence it is retrogressive".

The commission further claimed to have been ignored by the National Assembly and the President despite issuing them with advisories over the deletion of that clause before moving to court.

The procedure for appointing a deputy IG requires the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) to declare the position vacant and advertise it within 14 days from the date the vacancy occurred, vet, interview and shortlist at least three candidates, whose names shall be gazetted prior to being forwarded to the President to act.

Former deputy inspector-general Grace Kaindi was replaced by Mr Joel Kitili in an acting capacity after being ousted by the President on the grounds that she had attained retirement age.

Ms Kaindi declined to leave office, demanding to be given an official discharge letter from the NPSC, which is listed as an interested party in this case.

She, however, got a reprieve from the Employment and Labour Relations Court, which reinstated her even though she did not return to that position.