22 February 2013

Kenya: AG to Chair Meeting Over Kimemia Travel Circular

ATTORNEY General Githu Muigai is this morning set to host a meeting of Constitutional Commissions and Independent Office holders to deliberate on the circular that bars public officers from travelling out of the country without clearance.

On November 9 last year, Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia issued a circular that demands all public officers seek clearance from his office before traveling out of the country.

The meeting will be held at the AG's chambers starting from 11am and all stakeholders have been invited to "discuss and broker a settlement regarding the directive".

The meeting comes just two days after Chief Justice Willy Mutunga claimed the office of the president had attempted to stop him from travelling to Tanzania. It is not clear whether today's meeting is a direct consequence of these revelations.

In the letter calling for the meeting, the AG admits Kimemia's circular has caused considerable anxiety and discontent among constitutional commissions and independent offices.

"They have expressed their apprehension about the directive and they view the requirement as an illegal impediment by the executive undermining the independence of the offices guaranteed by the constitution," Githu says. At a media briefing in Nairobi yesterday, the Controller of Budget condemned the circular.

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