Nobody in Kenya Can Limit Constitutional Rights
Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o has issued a publication called “Executive Order No. 1” (see picture) meaning to ban all non-NASA-demonstrations in his county.
Steve Ogolla senses a “brazen abuse of office”:
In short, this is nothing more than a passionate appeal to Kisumu residents to shun violence, maintain peace, law &order, and tranquillity in the County.
Beyond that I sense a brazen abuse of Office. The Governor has no liberty to run through any provision of the law and imagine how he can innovate using sections of the law to push illegal agenda.
The Governor has attempted a chaotic and an illegal expansion of the scope of Section 30(3) of the County Government Act.
This provision and indeed no law gives the Governor, or even the President, inherent powers to limit any right.
Inherent powers are usually residual and facilitative in nature, meaning, any person exercising lawful authority is deemed to have powers to promote good or prevent harm even if the law does not expressly say so.
But limiting harm is not the same thing as limiting rights. Only the High Court of Kenya can do this, upon showing reasonable grounds.
Here is what the County Government Act in Sec 30 (3), that Nyongo invokes, says:
“(3) In performing the functions under subsection (2), the governor shall—
(a) provide leadership in the county’s governance and development;
(b) provide leadership to the county executive committee and administration based on the county policies and plans;
(c) promote democracy, good governance, unity and cohesion within the county;
(d) promote peace and order within the county;
(e) promote the competitiveness of the county;”