President William Ruto has suffered a major blow after a High Court temporarily suspended the public debt audit taskforce he formed through a gazette notice on Friday, July 5, 2024.

In his ruling, Justice Lawrence Mugambi barred the taskforce from carrying out its activities following an application challenging the legality of the taskforce by a Nakuru-based surgeon Dr Magare Gikenyi and Eliud Matindi.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this application, an interim order be and is hereby issued prohibiting the respondents, either by themselves, anyone else acting at their behest,instructions, directions or any other person whosoever, from discharging any function pursuant to Executive Order No. 4 and Gazette Notice No. 8261 Vol CXXVI – No. 97 5th July 2024 establishing the presidential taskforce on forensic Audit of the public debt,” the Judge ordered.

Ruto had formed the taskforce to conduct a comprehensive audit of the public debt and present its recommendations in three months.

The president said the taskforce should provide clarity on the state of the nation’s debts, reveal how the public money was spent and whether there was value for money.

Additionally, Ruto required that the taskforce recommend ways to manage public debt in a sustainable manner where future generations would not be burdened by repayments.

Gikenyi and Matindi, in their prayers to the court, argued that the public debt audit is a constitutional preserve of the Auditor General and not any taskforce appointed by the executive or any other entity.

The two petitioners believe that Ruto had usurped the powers of the Auditor General who is paid by the tax-payers to perform the same duties the taskforce is set to conduct.

The duo say the duplication of roles goes against the objective of the President in reducing unnecessary spending and wastage in government.

The judge ordered that the restraining orders be served on the Attorney General and other respondents within three days and their response should be filed within seven days.

He said the court would issue further directions concerning the matter on July 23, 2024.

In their argument, LSK said taskforce is unconstitutional adding that its members would not take up any role in it.

“Taking cognisance of the provisions of Article 229 of the constitution and the interpretation of the said provisions by the court, it is our considered view that the establishment of the taskforce is unconstitutional,” LSK noted.


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