Friday, March 13, 2009

Update on public interest case: Hon. Muite and Mr. Nowrojee asks for more time!

On behalf of petitioners and for the cause,
George Nyongesa
Bunge la Mwananchi

Dear Kenyans and friends of Kenya,

Yesterday (Thursday, 12th March, 2009) the landmark case instituted by 17 concerned Kenyans against the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) once again came up for hearing before Justice Nyamu. In this case, Kenyans are in court 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 and other resources the PSC has squandered on Parliamentarians since 2003.

As a brief background:

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.

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 office instead of their clerk.

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.

Thursday 12th February, 2009 - the PSC was represented by lawyers Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee and Hon. Paul Muite, the Attorney General represented by Advocate Mr. Omondi and Kenyans by lawyer Mr. Kibe Mungai. At the PSC’s advocates’ 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 was scheduled for Thursday, 12th March, 2009.


When Justice Nyamu sat to listen to submissions on the chamber summons yesterday, PSC’s advocates told the court that they had underestimated the time required to prepare, file and serve their preliminary objection. They informed the judge that the petition filed by Kenyans against the PSC raises grand fundamental constitutional issues that they must respond to with utmost care. They also indicated that as part of their defence they plan to question the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear the petition.

Justice Nyamu gave his ruling as follows:

1. The PSC, through its advocates ( Hon Muite and Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee), should file and serve both their preliminary objections and replying affidavit on Kenyans’ lawyer within 21 days.

2. Kenyans, through their lawyer Mr. Kibe Mungai, would then have 7 days within which to respond.

3. PSC’s advocates would thereafter have 7 days within which to respond to issues raised in Kenyans’ response.

4. At the end of the 35 days so allocated, Justice Nyamu will transmit the file to Chief Justice Evans Gicheru to appoint a 3 judge bench to hear both the chamber summons and the main petition.

Way forward and support required:

1. Since, we- Kenyans, disagree with the move to have Parliamentarians review their own remuneration through the Parliamentary Tribunal that was set up for that purpose, we shall be amending the court documents to seek court orders that in public interest, that review tribunal be disbanded.

2. Fellow Kenyans can support us by adding your signatures to the growing list in which we aim to collect 5 million signatures to bolster our petition. Your signature counts since it will help us build a strong and stable case for Kenyans’ public interest as we make our voices heard and resist political impunity. The petition is available at

3. You can also support us by building up and adding to public debate over the case and what it aims to achieve. Talk about it everywhere and anywhere that you can. Why cant we just write so many letters to the editor about this matter? Email, SMS, call, write in the newspaper, stand at the street corner and discuss this, engage your workmates, chat about it, post it on your friends’ walls in facebook... be part of the grapevine and own this initiative – it’s yours.

4. We are working on a Solidarity Fund in order to raise the resources we require in sustaining this petition. Feel free to contact us (c/o secretariat at Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION), Tel: 3871614, Telefax: 3871857, Mobile tel: 0733-542335, 0722-610567 Email: info (at) clarionkenya (dot) org Website: to obtain more information and to contribute to this fund. Your support through your generous donations will be most appreciated.

5. When the Chief Justice sets a date for the hearing of the chamber summons and main petition, you are each welcome to join us at court 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 make ourselves heard in putting it to an end.

For more information about this case visit

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