Lobby seeks Cabinet barred from official duties over gender balance

President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A lobby and two activists want an order barring Cabinet secretaries from transacting official duties or drawing salaries pending the hearing and determination of a case they have filed.

The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness, Marilyn Kamuru and Daisy Jerop Amdany claim the appointments are in contravention of an existing court order.

The petitioners say the Cabinet failed to meet the gender balance despite the earlier court ruling that had directed that future Cabinet should satisfy the same.

On December 20, 2016, High Court declared President Uhuru Kenyatta's Cabinet unconstitutional for contravening gender balance.

The judge, however, suspended the order for eight months to allow the first Cabinet to complete its remaining term

The petitioners claim the orders were served on the Attorney-General and the National Assembly, so that the President could be alerted when forming his second Cabinet.

Conservatory order

“Pending inter partes hearing of the application and the substantive petition, a conservatory order be issued restraining the Cabinet as a State body or individual Cabinet secretaries from undertaking any official business, including convening Cabinet meetings, passing resolutions, developing or adopting any government policy, issuing directives, making appointments or in any way undertaking or implementing government business ordinarily and legally performed by the Cabinet or the individual Cabinet secretaries,” read one of the interim orders sought.

They list the AG, Secretary to the Cabinet and the National Assembly as the respondent in the suit filed at the Milimani Law Courts.

The petitioners further take issue with President’s decision not to forward to the National Assembly for vetting the names of those retained from the previous Cabinet.

They claim the orders declaring the previous Cabinet illegal came into effect in September.

Therefore, the petitioners say, any person occupying the positions lost their legality on the basis of that law coming into force.