Raila criticises Haji move on County chiefs
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has criticised the decision by the Internal Security Ministry to appeal the High Court ruling that declared the appointment of 47 county commissioners unconstitutional.
Mr Odinga said he was kept in the dark over the issue and termed the move as “nonsense”.
He said he was baffled that even after Attorney General Githu Muigai and Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa advised against the appeal, acting Internal Security minister Yusuf Haji went ahead and did so.
“The court made its ruling declaring the appointments unconstitutional, the AG agreed with it and advised against an appeal so did the Justice minister, yet some minister goes ahead and makes an appeal…what sought of government is this,” said Mr Odinga during the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) young democrat’s league national convention at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi Friday.
“I was not even aware of the decision to make the appeal. This is nonsense…the Constitution is very clear that the Provincial Administration must be restructured in line with the provisions of a devolved structure and not the other way round,” he said.
“The national government, which has been charged with performing such duties, is not even in place so the county commissioners cannot be appointed. We have to wait until after the forthcoming elections when the national government will be constituted.”
On Thursday, Mr Haji filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal Registry in Nairobi, stating that he is dissatisfied with the ruling that was delivered by Justice Mumbi Ngugi on June 29.
Justice Ngugi had ruled that President Kibaki did not have powers to appoint or deploy the county commissioners.
The judge also ruled that the appointments violated the national values contained in the constitution and the National Accord and Reconciliation Act that requires him to consult Mr Odinga before making such appointments.
Jealously guard Constitution
The judge declared the appointments null and void saying the President violated the constitutional requirements of gender balance.
On Friday, Mr Odinga said they will ‘jealously” guard the Constitution, which was “written by the blood of Kenyans”.
“We shall not allow anyone to play around with it,” he said.
On Wednesday, Mr Wamalwa said the County bosses were in office illegally.
The Justice minister said President Kibaki had been advised on the matter and the “commissioners ought to respect the law, vacate office, because the courts had already nullified their appointments”.
The PM was accompanied by his wife Ida Odinga, party chairman Henry Kosgey, Cabinet ministers Joe Nyaga, Amason Kingi, and Paul Otuoma, assistant ministers Margaret Wanjiru, Elizabeth Ongoro, Ali Hassan Joho, Ayiecho Olweny, Magerer Lang’at, Oburu Oginga and Manson Nyamweya.
Others were MPs Ababu Namwamba, Rachael Shabesh, Millie Odhiambo, Fred Outa, and his campaign manager James Ongwae among others.
He said the time was ripe for Kenyans to elect reformist and scoffed at his opponents who have been trashing his reform credentials.
“They are saying that we should not look back…I say that it is important that we as a country look at where we have come from, where we are and where we should be going for us to move forward,” he said.
Mr Kosgey urged youths to take up the leadership mantle and drive the country forward but warned them to guard against tribalism.
“We should reject tribalism at all costs. Do not be intimidated into supporting some leaders because they are from your community. We only want a leader who will move this country forward and that is Raila Amolo Odinga,” he said.
Mrs Odinga drummed up support for his husband’s presidential bid, saying he has known the PM for more than 40 years, and was therefore the best person to comment on his leadership credentials.
“He is brave, focused and the right person to lead this country,” she said.
The ODM youth convention comes just a week after Mr Odinga launched his website as he prepares to take another stab at the presidency.