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Court Ends Confusion On Resignation of Civil Servants Ahead of Polls

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FILE IMAGE OF A GAVEL

Civil servants eyeing elective seats in the August General Election have until tomorrow, February 9 to step down, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

In a ruling delivered on Tuesday, the Appellate court reversed a 2017 judgment by the High Court that allowed public servants seeking elective seats to remain in office until the time for nominations.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices Daniel Musinga, Wanjiru Karanja and Agnes Murgor ruled that provisions of sections 43(5) of the Elections Act (2011) that requires civil servants eyeing politics seats to leave office, are not hollow.

The judges noted the early resignation is meant to promote neutrality and impartiality of state officers in polls.

“The importance of political neutrality and impartiality of public officers during the term of employment cannot be overemphasized,” the court ruled.

Read: CS Charles Keter Resigns, Aims for Kericho Gubernatorial Seat on UDA Ticket

The ruling by the second-highest court is an affirmation of the law that requires all public servants seeking elective positions to resign six months to a General Election.

The appeal was filed by the Public Service Commission (PSC), Attorney General, Head of Public Service, County Government of Embu and Governor Martin Wambora.

The parties moved to court after Justice Njagi Marete of the Labour and Employment Court quashed the six-month requirement on grounds that the law was enacted without public participation.

The judge had barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from disqualifying public servants from any general election for not vacating office six months to an election.

Read Also: Transport CAS Wavinya Ndeti Resigns To Launch Political Bid

Today’s ruling ends months of confusion on the matter following several court orders issued for and against the resignations.

Already several civil servants have tendered their resignations to focus on politics. Today, Devolution CS Charles Keter and his Energy counterpart John Munyes stepped down to vie for Kericho and Turkana governor seats respectively. More ministers, principal secretaries and chief administrative secretaries are also expected to resign by tomorrow.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

Email news@kahawatungu.com

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