Economy

Court stops vetting of permanent secretaries

Bunge-vetting

Ms Betsy Muthoni Njagi, PS nominee for State Department Blue Economy and Fisheries during vetting at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi on November 15, 2022. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

The High Court has stopped the ongoing vetting of permanent secretaries by Parliament, pending the determination of a case filed by the Law Society. 

The LSK says in the petition that the list of 51 PSs presented to Parliament for vetting and approval for not depict the national representation including the youth, persons with disabilities, the marginalised and gender balance.

Justice Nzioki wa Makau of the Employment and Labour court certified the case as urgent and directed the process to be halted. 

Parliament started vetting the nominees on Monday and the process entered its second day.

"Pending the hearing of this application inter-partes on 21st November 2022 a conservatory order of and is hereby issued retraining and or barring the respondent from receiving or if already received the list of nominees barring the processing, vetting or in any way processing the nomination of the 1st to 51st interested parties herein," the judge said.

The LSK says in the petition the list as presented to Parliament does not take into account the regional and tribal balance, two-thirds gender rule principle, persons with disabilities and the youth.

Mr Stephen Musili Muli added that the list contains 13 people each from Rift Valley and Central Kenya to the detriment of 40 other ethnic communities.

He says once approved the PSs will be expected to serve all Kenyans regardless of their tribal or political inclinations and whose mandate can only be made better if regional balance and inclusivity are done.

"The nomination of the 51 from the list of 477 shortlisted qualified candidates has been discriminatory in total disregard to the provisions of Article 250(4) of the constitution," the LSK says.

The lawyers' umbrella body says the larger public and sidelined communities will suffer a miscarriage of justice and alienation in the appointment to key positions in the government. 
 
The LSK has named Attorney General, Parliament and Public Service Commission as respondents in the case.