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CJ appoints judges to hear Governors’ case against Senators

29 August 2014, 23:05 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga has constituted a three- bench to hear a petition challenging the constitutionality of the newly implemented law that allows senators to chair County Development Boards.

Justice Isaac Lenaola, who heads the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court, will preside over the bench consisting of Justices; Mumbi wa Ngugi and George Odunga.

“Since the parties were not heard on whether the petition raises substantial question of law, I direct that the petition be placed before Justice Lenaola for the purpose before the three-judge bench hears it,” Mutunga.

He directed Lenaola to fairly hear the two parties in the County Bill 2014 case under Petition No. 413 of 2014 before making the constitutional ruling based on the consolidated substantive evidence.

The governors’ suit against the adopted law cites that Section 111A of the County Government Act, 2012, proposes to vest Governors and Members of the County Assemblies with executive powers.

The controversial law introduces the County Development Board comprising of the Senator (Chairman), Governor (Vice Chair) and Members of County Assemblies who are mandated to plan and manage county affairs.

Governors claim that the Bill tends to divest the executive authority bestowed on the Governors under Article 179(1).

They want the Court to declare Section 111A unconstitutional arguing that the new law violates Articles 6(2), 98(1), 174 and 179(1) of the Constitution which does not guarantee such provisions. 

Following the Court's Monday ruling stopping Governors from appearing before the Senate committees for grilling on utilization of county funds, the Bomet governor, Isaac Ruto, who was to appear before Senate's Public Accounts and Investment committee on Tuesday ignored the summon.

Ruto instead sent his executive committee member to respond to audit queries regarding the county's expenditure.

It is a second time Ruto, who is also the chairman of the Council of Governors, to defy the Senate's summon with claim that it is unconstitutional.

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