By Dikembe Disembe
High Court yesterday overturned the appointment of county police commandants by police inspector David Kimaiyo terming it unconstitutional and illegal. In a judicial review filed by human rights advocate Ndung’u Wainaina, the judge ruled that the move by IG Kimaiyo to make the appointments was null and void.
The Â judgement clarified the powers of the Inspector General of Police to appoint, transfer and/or promote police officers in the National Police Service.Â In his judgement, Judge Justice George Odunga held that:
1. THE office of the Inspector General of Police has both constitutional and legal powers to assign and/or deploy police officers to perform a specific duty in any part of the country on temporary basis whenever need arises. However, such an assignment or deployment cannot and must not be construed to imply substantive transfer and/or promotion of an officer to an office or a station in the National police service by the office of the Inspector General of Police. The effect of this judgment is that it is inaccurate for the Inspector General Police to make claims that his hands are tied in addressing security matters in the country.
2. THE purported transfer and/or promotion of police officers as County commandants or other recent transfers by the Inspector general of police are null and void. This is because, according to the court ruling, the powers to appoint, promote, transfer and create officers in the National Police Service, is the preserve of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC). Therefore the inspector General has no legal powers and authority to make unilateral decisions in human resource management in the National Police Service.
3. Any law or an Act of Parliament that purports to give powers of transfer, promotion, and/or appointment in the National Police Service to the office of the Inspector General of Police is null and void to the extent of its inconsistent with the Constitution.
4. The National Police Service Commission has constitutional and legal powers under the Constitution and National Police Service Act 2011 to create offices. Further, it has the legal mandate to proceed and competitively and transparently recruit officers within the service, transfer and/or promote officers to fill various positions in the national police service as provided for in the structure of National Police Service Act 2011.
5. The process of removal of the Inspector General of Police from office is the prerogative of the National Police Service Commission.
The case had been lodged by International Centre for Policy and Conflict.