The High Court has stopped the planned deployment of 1,000 police officers to Haiti to fight gangs and restore peace.
The order stopping the deployment was issued by Justice Chacha Mwita.
The case was filed by Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Ekuru Aukot, the party and its chairperson Mururu Waweru are listed as second and third petitioners.
They have sued President William Ruto, Interior CS Professor Kithure Kindiki, Police IG Japhet Koome, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, and the National Security Council.
Kenya offered to send police officers to Haiti to curb insecurity on July 2023 and the request was approved by the United Nations (UN) Security Council on October 10.
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They say that after the approval President Ruto in a televised address welcomed the move reiterating Kenya’s readiness for the deployment.
“There was no Cabinet meeting and a resultant Cabinet Memo/resolution to evince that due process was followed,” reads the petition.
In their argument, they say that the 2010 Constitution did not envisage the deployment of police officers to missions outside the country which therefore renders the move unconstitutional.
According to the constitution, only the Kenya Defence Forces can be deployed outside Kenya and the police can only function within the country.
“In any request, there was no request from the government of Haiti as a prerequisite for deployment of the Kenyan service to Haiti hence there is no justification for the impugned decision,” it says.
The petition argues that there is doubt about whether Haiti law allows for the deployment of police there.
They argue that there is a real danger that the deployment will take place without following the law and the constitution and without conducting public participation.
Public participation ought to have happened before Kenya submitted her request to the Security Council for consideration, and if the same was to happen then it would be just for a show.
They argue that the deployment does not promote efficient, effective, and economic use of resources which leaves serious doubts on government priority given the inflation and high cost of living challenges Kenya is currently facing.
In his affidavit, Aukot accuses President Ruto of singlehandedly and without public participation entering into an agreement with the US and UN to deploy the officers.
He cites Article 243 (3) of the constitution which says “The National Police Service is a national service and shall function throughout Kenya.”
He says Section 6 is the only provision for the deployment of police outside the country and it can only happen in defence of Kenya and during a state of emergency.
Aukot argues that Haiti is neither at war nor in a state of emergency adding that in the past US and France have deployed their armed forces which resulted in regrettable consequences.
He wonders why the US is willing to give Kenya funds to the tune of Sh14.7 billion to support the mission but isn’t willing to deploy its security forces.
Aukot says that Kenya already faces various security challenges like the killing of Kikuyu community members in Lamu County which he says should instead see the deployment of officers.
He argues that there is no law or treaty that Kenya has ratified through parliament to authorize the deployment of police to Haiti or anywhere else.