Court declares unconstitutional decision to slash police salaries

Friday, September 30th, 2022 05:00 | By
Court declares unconstitutional decision to slash police salaries
Police officers during a parade at the training school in Kiganjo. PD/FILE

It is a huge relief to graduate police officers whose rank had been abolished after the Employment and Labour Relations court declared the decision by National Police Service Commission to slash their salaries unconstitutional.

Justice Nduma Nderi ordered the National Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police to pay the graduate officers a salary equivalent to individuals in Job Group ‘J’ as they used to earn prior to the decision to reduce their pay.

“A declaration is issued that the National Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police unilateral decision to reduce graduate officers recruited on diverse dates from Job Group ‘J’ to Job Group ‘F’ were arbitrary, unreasonable and unlawful,” ruled the Judge.

The IG and the commission reduced the salaries of graduate officers recruited in the years 2006 and 2014 following a prolonged row over graduate police constables who were earning a salary of the officer of the rank of an inspector.

Five officers moved to court to challenge the said decision claiming there was no communication that the commission would reduce their salary from Job Group J to Job Group F, as the changes were noted on their respective payslips.

The five officers are; Ayub Gikonyo Mathenge, Mbusiro Christine Dorothy, Robinson Kipkorir Cheruiyot, John Kariuki and Meshack Mutukho Cadet police salary Through lawyer Danstan Omari they argued that at the time of recruitment, there was a circular that anybody joining the service with a degree automatically gets the salary of a Cadet police officer.

Justice Nduma Nderi quashed the said decision saying it was arbitrary, unreasonable, unlawful and a blatant violation of the accrued rights of the officers from the date of their recruitment to that when they were demoted for no good cause and their remuneration reduced to their great loss and detriment.

The Judge ruled that the Court was satisfied that the reduction in salary and rank was not preceded by a notice to the said officers and it was implemented by the IG and the Commission without giving the officers any opportunity to be heard.

“The officers’ protestation of the decision was ignored by the respondents (IG and NPSC) and they did not have any opportunity to be heard on review and or appeal of the adverse decision that had befallen them,” noted the Judge.

“It cannot also by necessary implication be said that the IG and the Commission were given powers by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the NPSA and Regulations made there under to demote and reduce the salary of graduate police officers without following due process,” he added.

The Judge noted that the Commission and the IG had made no pretence or any apologies regarding their failure to involve the officers before making the very adverse decision against them which conduct violates Articles 10, 27, 41, and 47 of the Constitution.

“The respondent’s decision contained in the letter dated 17th November 2021 was unlawful, unreasonable and void ab initio for lack of due process and retroactive application of Legislation to the appointments in violation of their rights under Article 27, 41, and 47 read with Section 4 and 7 of the Fair Administrative Action Act, 2015,” he said

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