Government Wants Order On Suspension Of Vetting Procurement Officers Lifted

by Mahakamani News

The government wants an order suspending fresh vetting of top procurement officers and accountants set aside.

However, the High Court has said it will remain in force until Wednesday 13th.

By 5pm on Friday last week, 458 public officers had voluntarily submitted their information required to the Office of the President.

Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto told court that everybody will be given reasonable time to submit the required information adding that no one will be victimized.

Mr Ogeto said that the government is committed to ensure the vetting is done within the constitution.

Petitioner Okiya Omtatah has opposed the application by government saying that there was no public participation in the enactment of the decision and therefore the orders ought not to be vacated.

“It is a fishing expedition, not provided for in the law,” said Omtatah.

The activist also took issues with the affidavit sworn by the Interior Principal Secretary Engineer Karanja Kibicho on behalf of government saying that it is defective, and that he lacks jurisdiction to respond to the matter because he is not a party to the proceedings.

He further claims that the impugned circular is at variance with what the President said on Madaraka Day.

Respondents in the case include Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Public Service Commission and the AG.

Omtatah told the court that PS Karanja Kibicho is not a party to the proceedings and lacks the standing to swear an affidavit on behalf of any of the three respondents in support of the Notice of Motion.

High Court temporarily stopped the government from implementing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive and subsequent action by the head of public service Joseph Kinyua asking all this heads to vacate office till they are vetted.

Activist Okiya Omtatah moved to court to challenge the circular saying that it was created subjectively though an irregular and opaque process that did not involve public participation and violated the constitution.

High court Judge Onesmus Makau while issuing the orders certified the matter as urgent and directed that the petition be served upon the respondents in the case who include head of public service commission Joseph Kinyua and the AG.

According to Omtatah the government circular has created extreme anxiety in the public service as it purports to terminate the services of heads of procurement and accounting units in Government ministries , departments and agencies including state corporations and independent offices commissioned by sending them on compulsory leave for 30 working days.


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