Parliament cannot nominate NCIC commissioners, court rules

Parliament cannot nominate NCIC commissioners, court rules

The High Court has declared that Parliament cannot nominate National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) commissioners and that any appointment made is unconstitutional and void.

“An order is hereby issued quashing section 17(1) (a) and (b) of the National Cohesion and Integration-NCIC Act no. 12 of 2008 and the procedure for nominating commissioners of NCIC by the National Assembly under the First Schedule of the Act is unconstitutional and therefore invalid, null and void,” the court ruled.

High Court Judge Wilfrida Okwany ruled that parliament must function within the limits prescribed by the constitution.

This follows a petition filed by activist Okiya Omtath seeking to stop the hiring of NCIC commissioners on grounds the recruitment ought to be carried out by the Public Service Commission, not Parliament.

His contention is that the NCIC is a not a constitutional commission and hence falls under the PSC.

“Having regard to my observation and findings in this judgement and having considered the petition the constitution and law as well as the parties submissions and the authorities that they cited, I am satisfied that the petition raises a genuine constitutional grievances in so far as the role of the National Assembly in nominating commissioners to be appointed to the NCIC is concerned,” ruled Okwany.

Parliament had argued that the NCIC act gives them powers to nominate commissioners for approval by the president.

The legal team representing the National Assembly said nomination of State Officers is not within the scope of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) and the NCIC is a state office not public.

The positions of the commissioners officials fell vacant in August last year.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi authorised the Cohesion and Equal Opportunity Committee to start recruitment of 15 people for approval by the House.



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