The Kenya National Association of Parents (KNAP) has suffered a second blow after the Court of Appeal rejected its application, saying it operates illegally.
The lobby had appealed a High Court judgment issued in February 2016 in favour of the Ministry of Education on establishing boards of management in schools.
A three-judge bench found that KNAP was not established in accordance with the procedures set out in the Constitution.
“We cannot fault the learned judge for her conclusion that the appellant was not entitled to the protection of the Constitution and the law,” said judges William Ouko, E M Githinji and Sankale ole Kantai in court documents.
High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi had dismissed the constitutional petition filed by KNAP’s secretary general Musau Ndunda against the Ministry of Education.
She said that the association was not what is contemplated in the Basic Education Act, 2012 and was not, therefore, the bona fide representative of parents whose children attend Kenyan schools.
In January 2016, former Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i revoked a letter written by his predecessor, the late Mutula Kilonzo, in February 2013 recognising the Mr Ndunda-led association.
The letter had also given Mr Ndunda the authority to collect Sh2,000 from every school to support its activities.
In October the same year, Dr Matiang’i oversaw the establishment of a new parents lobby — the National Association of Parents.
The court of Appeal noted that KNAP was expected, but failed to demonstrate that it had been elected by parent’s associations from schools through a delegates system.
“An association whose formation is provided by law must be established and operated in accordance with the law. Only then will it get protection from the Constitution and the court,” said the judges.
KNAP moved to court, arguing that the Ministry of Education officials had violated the constitutional right of its members to elect office bearers of their choice to parents associations at the school level.