Throw out Bikeri case on vetting, court told

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 06:20 | By
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula makes a grand entry to Parliament. PD/kenna claude

The National Assembly has opposed a petition filed by an activist challenging the names of 51 Principal Secretaries nominated by President William Ruto on November 2.

In preliminary objections filed in court, the National Assembly wants the suit struck out by the Employment and Labour Relations Court for lack of jurisdiction.

Fredrick Bikeri filed the suit seeking to stop the National Assembly from vetting and approving the Principal Secretaries — which  kicked off yesterday — on grounds that the list does not reflect nor ensure gender, regional, and tribal balance.

The National Assembly, however, objects to the suit, claiming appointment and removal from the positions of the Principal Secretaries is not a labour and employment issue, but a special constitutional innovation.

“The jurisdiction of this court to interpret and apply the Constitution is not original or unlimited, like the High Court. This court’s jurisdiction is limited to constitutional issues that arise in the context of disputes on employment and labour relations,” argues the National Assembly.

It argues that appointment of the Principal Secretaries does not involve any of the parties or raise any employment and labour relation issues.

According to Bikeri, the President’s nomination of people who are seemingly close to him, in exclusion of those perceived to be in opposition, does not reflect his essence as a symbol of national unity.

“The President ought to apply in total the principles of good governance as enlisted in Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya,” he says in court documents.

Through lawyers Danstan Omari, Shadrack Wambui and Paul Macharia, Bikeri notes that Kisii community, and particularly Nyamira County, has not received any slot in the purported nominations, which is a clear departure from the principle of inclusivity and good governance envisaged in Article 10 of the Constitution.

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