Activist asks High Court to quash President's decision on Kaindi

A human rights activist has moved to the High Court to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to retire Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Grace Kaindi.

In an application filed Thursday under certificate of urgency at the Labour Relations and Employment court, Zachary Onsongo through lawyer Jessie Odour says the President violated the Constitution by transferring Ms Kaindi.

Onsongo told the court that the decision by the President was arbitrary and unreasonable, unfair, unjust and went against public's legitimate and rightful expectations.

"In effecting the transfer or retirement of Ms Kaindi, the President usurped the powers of National Police Service Commission (NPSC) as enshrined in the Constitution. The Deputy IG holds a constitutional office and was appointed on the basis of a competitive process by the NPSC," argues Oduor.

Thursday, Justice Monicah Mbaru certified the application as urgent and directed the petitioner to serve Attorney General Githu Muigai and NPSC and appear before her today for inter-parties hearing.

"Owing to the weight of issues raised, I cannot grant the orders sought by the petitioner ex-parte but I direct that he serves the respondents and all parties to appear in court for further directions," Mbaru said.

Onsongo wants the court to quash the decision by the President to transfer Ms Kaindi and to have her reinstated to her former position, pending hearing and determination of the suit.

He also wants the court to prohibit NPSC from replacing or declaring the position of DIG or implementing the transfer of Ms Kaindi until the matter is heard and determined.

Five-year contract

"The decision to transfer Ms Kaindi is a breach of the rules of natural justice, is a nullity and ought to be quashed," he says in the suit papers.

The applicant claims that Kaindi's transfer erodes the constitutional gains towards empowerment of women. He argues that the DIG has a five-year contract which will end in 2018 and therefore her transfer is in violation of the contract.

He further argues that Kaindi's transfer to the public service is against Article 254 and 246 of the Constitution. The applicant also argues that the transfer offends the Constitution since her replacement did not factor the gender equation as envisaged in the Constitution.