BY SAM ALFAN.
The court has overruled a decision by the Executive requiring Lecturers to get clearance from Statehouse when travelling outside Kenya.
“A conservatory order is hereby granted suspending the enforcement of a circular /letter from Mr Kinyua addressed to all Cabinet secretaries and all principal secretaries, with the directive to circulate to all parastatals under their respective ministries, in so far as affects members of UASU,”
Justice Chacha Mwita issued orders suspending the enforcement of a circular dated 13th September 2017 from Chief of Staff in the Office of the President and Head of Public Service requiring members of UASU to seek clearance from the President before travelling out of the country. The orders to remain in force until 16th of this month when the Petition will be heard.
Through lawyer Gitobu Imanyara the Union has asked the court to restrain Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua from enforcing any directives pursuant to the said letter pending hearing and determination of the petition.
On 13 September this year the attorney general signed ,published and disseminated a letter / circular being bearing reference NO SH/1/6XIV addressed to all cabinet secretaries and all principals Secretaries with directives to ” circulate to all parastatals.
“RE: TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY-This is to notify you it has been decided, until further advised otherwise, no government official will travel outside the country without clearance by The President. For avoidance of any doubt , the officials in reference include Cabinet Secretaries , Principal Secretaries and Officers in Ministries, Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals and their offices and Board of Directors of parastatals” state the letter.
The union argues the two circulars all members of the petitioners union and who are Professors , lecturers and researchers have been immediately banned from travelling out of the country.
The university staff body further claims it members have banned without any lawful or reasonable cause been barred from. Enjoying their fundamental rights and freedom more particularly leaving the country.
They argued that such external collaboration that involves frequent travel has benefitted and continues to benefit higher education sector as well as the country in innovation, intellectual learning and capacity building.
“The petitioner is a duly registered union of academic staff of the public universities of Kenya which has instituted these proceedings in its own behalf and also on behalf of its members who are professors, scholars, lecturers, teachers and researchers in public universities in Kenya”. reads court documents.
The orders to remain in force until 16th of this month when the Petition will be heard.
The petition was filed by Universities Academic Staff Union, UASU.