Activist moves to court to stop vetting of 51 Principal Secretary nominees

An activist has moved to court to stop PSs vetting. He argues that the President should have nominated at least one PS from each tribe to reflect regional balance. [iStockphoto]

The appointment of 51 Principal Secretaries hangs in the balance after an activist moved to court to stop their vetting.

Fredrick Bikeri, through an urgent petition filed at the High Court, wants to stop the National Assembly from vetting and approving any of the nominees on account that they failed to meet the constitutional requirement on gender and regional balance.

"The list of persons appointed to the rank of Principal Secretary is illegal and unconstitutional since does not reflect the face of Kenya, has no gender balance, regional balance, tribal balance and inclusivity of the marginalised communities contrary to the provisions of the Constitution," he said.

His lawyer Danstan Omari said President William Ruto breached the Constitution for having his cronies and others close to him as PS while excluding other regions who also deserve to be part of the government.

Has 44 tribes

Omari argued that since the country has 44 tribes, the President should have nominated at least one PS from each tribe to reflect regional balance.

He said that since the PSs will be sitting in positions that hold the highest duty of setting policies, it will only be fair if all regions, gender and marginalised groups are given an opportunity to make decisions that also affect them.

"Just like during the vetting of Cabinet Secretaries, the National Assembly acted like a conveyor belt for approving all the nominees despite integrity questions raised about some of them. The same thing will happen with the PSs unless the court stops the process," said Omari.

He added that parliament, which is expected to start vetting the nominees on Thursday, will be acting on an illegal list which does not meet the constitutional threshold.