The High Court has temporarily issued orders barring the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai from taking orders from the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) on public gatherings.
Further, Justice Anthony Mrima suspended the directives of the NSAC on the manner in which public gatherings should be held, pending the determination of a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
The lawyers’ umbrella body challenged the directives issued on October 7 and ratified by Cabinet the following day, arguing that the NSAC was interfering with the mandate of the IG of police
The Attorney General had opposed the issuance of the orders stating that it was an interference with the Executive power to maintain peace and order.
The directive included the manner in which public meetings, gatherings and processions are to be conducted and how addressing such meetings must conduct themselves.
The Committee also warned that media outlets shall be held responsible for the content published or broadcast, words that incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility and violence and desists from providing platform to hate mongers.
But LSK challenged them saying the directives were selectively being applied by the police.
In the ruling, Justice Mrima said the independence of the IG is constitutionally insulated from any form of interference or directional command.
He noted that apart from the Director of Public Prosecutions and only to the extent provided by the constitution, no other person, body or entity has the power to give any form of directives to the police boss on how to discharge his functions.
“In as much as the directives may have been intended for the good of the citizenry, this court cannot lose sight of the fact that the impugned directives are on a direct collision course with Article 245 (2) 9 (b) and (4) of the constitution,” the Judge said.