128 Uhuru Appointees Face Firing After Landmark Ruling

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a previous address.
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation in 2018

The High Court on Thursday, May 27 has declared President Uhuru Kenyatta's appointment of 128 parastatal heads in 2018 as unconstitutional.

A three-judge bench consisting of Jessie Lessit, Chacha Mwita and Lucy Njuguna made the landmark ruling noting that the appointments were done without due process. 

"The people of Kenya desired that parastatal appointments must be competitive, fair and transparent considering persons with disabilities and Kenya's diverse communities," the judges ordered. 

Among those who had been appointed at the time include former chief of Defence force Julius Karangi, former Governor Benjamin Cheboi and the late former Vice president George Saitoti's widow Margaret Saitoti, former Mombasa gubernatorial candidate Suleiman Shabhal, among others. 

An undated image of Margaret Saitoti.
An undated image of Margaret Saitoti.

The case had been filed by Katiba Institute and the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) which had sued the State. They stated that the appointments had been made in an unconstitutional manner. 

The judiciary and the executive have been at loggerheads in the recent past due to various rulings that have changed the trajectory of the political scene in the country.

On Tuesday, April 20, the positions of 29 Chief Administrative Secretaries were also declared illegal. The CASs had been appointed by Uhuru. 

The ruling placed in jeopardy, positions of influential politicians such as Rachel Shebesh, Mercy Mwangangi, and Ababu Namwamba. 

The judge had also ordered that those Cabinet Secretaries who had not undergone vetting in 2017, were in office illegally. 

Further, the High court recently ruled the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as null and void citing illegalities within the process of coming up with the bill.

This further dented the relationship between the Judiciary and the executive primarily Uhuru who was at the centre of the ruling as the five-judge bench affirmed that he could be sued in a personal capacity.

"The president can be sued personally if he acts outside the law or does anything in disregard of the Constitution of Kenya," stated judge Chacha Mwita.

Justice Chacha Mwita's ruling on BBI on Thursday, May 13, 2021


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