Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kenyans in court seeking scrap of Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC)

12th February, 2009
Press release

Kenyans in court seeking scrap of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC)

Today (Thursday, 12th February, 2009) at 9.00 am, Justice Nyamu of Nairobi’s High Court, once again sat to listen to the landmark citizen instituted case against the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) in which 17 representative Kenyans are seeking orders that the PSC be declared unconstitutional along with the law that created it and further that the High Court order the recovery of all the money estimated at KES 7 billion and other resources the PSC has squandered on Parliamentarians since 2003.

The PSC has procured senior lawyers Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee and Hon. Paul Muite, the Attorney General represented by State Counsel Mr. Omondi and the 40 million Kenyans are represented by lawyer Mr. Kibe Mungai.

As a brief background:

1. On Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 17 Kenyans filed High Court Petition No. 769 of 2008, at the Nairobi Law Courts, requesting that the PSC be scrapped for violating the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, and for flouting the republican ethics that prohibit public officials from using their offices for unjust enrichment and other forms of personal gain.

2. On Wednesday, 21st January, 2009, when the case came before Justice Nyamu, it could not proceed because the PSC alleged they had not been properly served, since the court papers were delivered to their Legal Department office instead of their Clerk.

3. On Friday, 30th January, 2009, although the Attorney General (through whose office all bills are transformed into law and therefore had much to do with the passing of the contentious law) was ready to proceed, the PSC requested for leave of the court to instruct lawyers to appear in court on their behalf. The case was therefore postponed to today, Thursday 12th February, 2009 to allow them to get legal representation.

Update: At the PSC’s advocates’ (Mr. Pheroze Nowrejee and Hon. Paul Muite) request, Justice Nyamu granted orders allowing the PSC 21 days within which to respond to the chamber summons in this matter filed by Kenyans at the High Court. Lawyer Kibe further requested and was granted 7 days leave after receipt of the PSC’s response to the chamber summons, within which to reply. Consequently, the next mention of the case is scheduled for Thursday, 12th March, 2009.

In addition, although submissions on the chamber summons will be heard by Justice Nyamu, by application of all parties, the petition will be heard by a three member panel of High Court judges.

Way forward and support required:

1. Unfortunately, since our last communication, a parliamentary tribunal has been set up and gazette to look into the matter of MPs remuneration and taxation. We disagree with the move to have parliamentarians review their own remuneration as they are obviously biased and it is a clear conflict of interest right from the beginning for whomever is proposed to occupy such a tribunal. In this regard, we shall be amending the court documents to seek court orders that in public interest, the tribunal be disbanded.

2. That the PSC (read the State) has retained such high profile advocates, Mr. Pheroze Nowrejee and Hon. Paul Muite to represent them fortifies our resolve since it is clear that they and the AG, who is willing and ready to proceed, acknowledge there is indeed a strong and valid case to answer. On a sad note, we are however surprised that the people that have previously fought by our side can now be "hired guns" to offer "legal expat" not legal expert to the very criminal system against which we fight. In any event, we appreciate that the profile of this case has been increased. On that note we appeal to all patriotic Kenyans who are lawyers and advocates to join Mr. Kibe and lend support as we face the giants ( Phirozee Nowrejee and Paul Muite) in the ring.

3. Fellow Kenyans can support us by adding your signatures to the growing list of "army against impunity" as we aim to collect 5 million signatures on our petition. Your signature counts since it will help us build a strong and stable base of Kenyans through which to make your voice heard and to push for Kenyans’ best interests’ agenda against culture of corruption and political impunity. The petition is available at

4. We propose to set up a Solidarity Fund in order to raise the resources we require in sustaining this petition. Feel free to contact us (see to obtain more information and to contribute to this fund. It is important we have financial muscle in this struggle against the State. Your support through your generous donations will be most appreciated.

5. We need the numbers to join us in court for solidarity- you are all welcome to join us at court on Thursday 12th March, 2009 – High Court Chambers 35, Nairobi – so that this is not a case of just a few individuals but all Kenyans. We are all being robbed and we must therefore all stand and resist.

On behalf of other petitioners,
George Nyongesa
Bunge la Mwananchi
mwananchibunge (at) gmail (dot) com
+254 720 451 235


Sukuma Kenya said...

Probably not very ethical as a blogger to be the first to post a comment on my own blog but as I was re-reading this, I could not help but wonder about how Human Rights lawyers work so I wrote an email to a bunch of people who do know:

"Firstly, congrats to your team Omtatah for getting thus far!
I am just a bit confused here and for my own clarification as the average kenyan trying to understand complicated things like law and human rights, etc, am I correct to understand that Muite and Nowrojee have always been very strong activists for justice and the Kenyan people and particularly
Muite who is often on TV expressing himself strongly against the government are now actually representing the government??

Ironic seems to be putting it mildly. Or is this a much more complicated thing than a court case to try and get back all the stolen money by our government? Is it normal that lawyers swing sides like this depending on who pays them what? Does this mean that people who call themselves "activists" are also allowed to swing back and forth depending on who they talk to, etc?"

An hour later, I got a call from a good friend who said he saw my email and he was laughing. I asked him if I have done something stupid in asking this question. He let out a big laugh and said, "you are amongst 40 million other stupid Kenyans so you are in safe company."
Good to know...

MainaT said...

All the best with your court case