Blow to President Ruto as High Court bars Haiti police mission

Friday January 26 2024

Police recruits march during a pass out parade at Kiganjo Training College in Nyeri County, Kenya on March 3, 2017. PHOTO | NMG


The Kenyan government has been dealt a blow after the High Court halted a UN-backed plan to deploy 1,000 police officers to Haiti to fight gangs and restore peace.

In the ruling, Justice Enock Chacha Mwita said the constitution only allows members of the Kenya Defence Forces (Kenya Army, Kenya Airforce and Kenya Navy) to be deployed to keep the peace outside Kenya.

Justice Mwita said Article 240 of the 2010 Constitution allows the National Security Council (NSC) to deploy defence forces when requested by the United Nations Security Council.

Read: Kenya court extends pause on Haiti deployment

But he said the National Police Service (NPS) does not fall under the category of defence forces and "therefore cannot be deployed to Haiti".

In his ruling, Justice Mwita said: “A declaration is hereby issued that the National Security Council has no mandate to deploy Police Officers outside Kenya under Article 240 (8) of the Constitution of Kenya or any other law.”


The judge also said there was no reciprocal agreement signed between Kenya and Haiti and therefore "it will be against the law to deploy our police service to Haiti".

Does not recognise the police

In addition to declaring that Article 240 does not recognise the police as a force but as a service, the judge also ruled that President William Ruto's name should be struck out of the case, saying the law "prohibits any suit against a sitting president".

He also declared that any other government agency or person who decides to deploy police officers to Haiti will be in breach of the Constitution.

Read: Kenya faces scrutiny over Haiti mission

The petition was filed by Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot.

Those named as respondents were President Ruto, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, Police Inspector General Japhet Koome, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and NSC.

The judge noted President Ruto said Kenya had offered to deploy police officers to Haiti on July 2023 to curb insecurity and that the request was approved by the United Nations (UN) Security Council on October 10.

The petitioners told the judge that Ruto welcomed the move in a televised address, reiterating Kenya's willingness to deploy.

“There was no Cabinet meeting and a resultant Cabinet Memo/resolution to evince that due process was followed,” Dr Aukot stated in the petition.

In their submissions to the court, the petitioners said the Constitution does not provide for the deployment of police officers on missions outside the country, making the move unconstitutional.