President Uhuru Kenyatta has been barred from putting constitutional commissions and independent organizations under the jurisdiction of the Attorney-General and Cabinet secretaries, according to the High Court.
Justice James Makau, in a ruling on a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), ruled the President behaved unconstitutionally by seeking to transfer and restructure the activities of independent bodies, including the judiciary.
President Kenyatta outlined out restructures that would have altered the functioning of more than 20 commissions by bringing them under various departments and ministries in an Executive Order dated May 11, 2020.
The Public Service Commission(PSC), Teachers Service Commission(TSC), National Police Service Commission(NPSC), Parliamentary Service Commission(PSC), and Judicial Service Commission(JSC) are among those that would have been affected by the Presidential order.
Such restructures, according to Justice Makau, would have jeopardized their independence.
“I find that the petitioner has demonstrated that the intended restructure of the Judiciary, an arm of government, by the Executive arm of the government and placing various tribunals and Judicial Service Commission under various ministries and state departments is a threat to judicial independence,” he said.
He went on to say that the Executive Order is administrative action since it amounts to adopting administrative policies, which must be followed to the word and spirit of the law.