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President has right to appeal, but it’s better to recall county commissioners

Wednesday July 18 2012

The Office of the President opted to overlook the Attorney General’s counsel against launching an appeal challenging the High Court ruling, which quashed the appointment of the 47 county commissioners. The office descended into entrusting the task to a private lawyer.

My liberal view against the ruling is that the President has constitutional power to make such appointments, but not even gender balance would have sweetened his unilateralism an inch.

If my memory serves me well, the National Peace Accord was signed on the understanding that consultation is a prerequisite to all key appointments, a factor that President Kibaki has defied once again, having also done so in the controversial judicial nominations.

Acting Internal Security permanent secretary Mutea Iringo’s assurance, which made the commissioners feel at home in the office, and the move by the OP to appeal are enough reasons to conclude that there is something sinister about the appointments.

Neither the President’s nonchalance nor his silence can remedy the outright differences between the Ministry of Internal Security and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, with the Attorney General now roped in.

It is time President Kibaki plucked up courage to bow down to the mounting pressure and rescinded the appointments.




State protected too

There has been much unnecessary hue and cry over the Ministry of Provincial Administration and Internal Security’s move to seek an appeal against the High Court ruling opposing the appointment of county commissioners.

There seems to be a harboured notion that the ministry does not have the constitutional right to appeal against the ruling especially since the Attorney General, Githu Muigai, has stated that there’s no need to appeal.

However, the ministry is entitled to the constitutional provision to a fair hearing despite the AG’s advice.

The AG is the government’s advisor and the government can actually reject his advice and appeal and that appeal will be heard.

The new constitutional dispensation has opened up facets and leeway for individuals to fully question the government by exercising their right to picket against government decisions that they feel are against the spirit of the constitution.

However, what most people seem to forget is that the government is also protected by that same Constitution and is allowed to follow the due process of the law.