Court bars IG Mutyambai from taking directives from NSA

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Court has barred Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai from taking directives from the National Security Advisory.

Justice Mrima suspended the directives whose effect is to direct the manner in which the IG and any of its officers under its command should carry out their constitutional and statutory duties.

“A conservatory order is hereby issued restraining the Inspector General whether by himself or any police officer under his command from taking directives from the National Security Advisory  committee or any person, body or entity in the manner in which the Inspector General of police or its officers should carry out their constitutional and statutory duties pending hearing and determination of the petition,” ruled judge Mrima.

The directives were issued by the National Security Advisory Committee on 7th October, and ratified by the cabinet on 8 October 2020.

The Law Society of Kenya filed an application seeking to stop the IG and his officers from seeking license or authorise the holding of public gathering, meetings, processions, banning, disrupting or interfering with peaceful, gathering and meeting of LSK where they urged the court to declare the directives issued by the National Security Advisory on 7th October as unconstitutional.

LSK argued that as a result of the said directives, several public meetings were declared unlawful, banned and disrupted with the use of brute police force and permission to hold public meeting denied by the police including a fundraising at St Leo Catholic church Shianda, Mumias East constituency on 11th October in respect of which permission was declined on 9th October 2022 over ‘Covid 2019 public health instructions and directives’ and ‘security threats’.

They stated that section 5 of the public order Act and directives fundamentally limit the rights and fundamental freedoms in the respect of opinion, expression, freedom of the media, association, assembly and demonstrate.

“The directives are selectively applied by the police and in the guise of fighting covid-19 pandemic with the result of limiting rights of fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of rights , freedom, expression, freedom of the media ,freedom to demonstrate and freedom to assemble”, said LSk.

LSK further told the court that the directives were used as a tool to further favoured political cause since several other public meetings are being held in which in which directives are not being applied including a national prayer day held at Statehouse on 9th October attended by thousands including President Uhuru Kenyatta and another at the opposition leader Raila Odinga’s at his home in Bondo by kikuyu elders.

Attorney general opposed the application claiming that the application sought to usurp policy preferences of National Executive contrary to separation of powers and the court was called to direct executive policy preference.

Justice Mrima, however, maintained that the Director of Public Prosecution and Interior cabinet remain at liberty to exercise their mandate under Article 157(4) and Article 245(4) of the constitution respectively.