The High Court has declared the appointment of 128 Kenyans including senior politicians to various state parastatals in 2018 unconstitutional.
In a ruling delivered on Thursday, a three-judge bench quashed all gazette notices issued in relation to the designations.
The judges ruled that there was no transparency and fair competition in the appointments, dealing President Uhuru Kenyatta — the appointing authority — a huge blow.
Individuals who were appointed to various government parastatals during the period include former Chief of Defense Force Julius Karangi, former Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi and Margaret Saitoti.
Other Kenyans affected are Linus Gitahi (Non-Executive Chairperson, Brand Kenya Board), Kathleen Openda (Chairperson, Council of the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication), Flora Mutahi, (Chairperson, Anti-Counterfeit Agency Board), David Were (Chairperson, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation), Immanuel Ichor Imana (Chairperson, Kenya International Convention Centre Board) and Jackson Kiptanui (Chairman, Kerio Valley Development Authority).
Reacting to the ruling, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki asked the court to stay the judgment for 30 days.
However, Lawyer Dudley Ochiel, who is representing Katiba Institute, opposed the application and asked the court to order the IG to file a formal application.
The ruling comes a month after Justice Anthony Murima ruled that the creation of the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) office was unconstitutional.
The posts were created by President Kenyatta in 2018.
The posts, critics say, were rewards for his supporters who lost their political seats in the 2017 General Election.
“I have decided to establish a new position in government, the position of Chief Administrative Secretary in all our ministries. The Chief Administrative Secretary would broadly be responsible for helping the Cabinet Secretary to better coordinate the running of the affairs of their respective ministries,” the head of state said.
Justice Murima also noted that Cabinet Secretaries (CS) who are still in office but were not vetted in 2017, are in office illegally.
The judge also said that principal secretaries not competitively recruited by the Public Service Commission (PSC) are contravening the Constitution.
He did, however, suspend his decision for 30 days to allow the Attorney General file an affidavit on ethnic and gender composition of the Cabinet.