High Court halts repeat nomination in Murang’a

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The repeat nomination exercise for the Murang’a Jubilee gubernatorial contest has been suspended temporarily by the High Court pending determination of an appeal by Governor Mwangi wa Iria.

Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’udi sitting at the Milimani Law Courts yesterday halted the implementation of the order by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal that the repeat primary be held tomorrow.

“The order of the tribunal that there be a repeat nomination for the Murang’a governorship is suspended temporarily pending determination of an appeal by Mr wa Iria,” Justice Ong’udi directed.

She allowed the plea to issue a temporary stay by lawyers Tom Macharia, Waweru Gatonye, Charles Njenga and Ng’ang’a Mbugua for the Jubilee Party and Mr wa Iria.

Mr Macharia and Mr Gatonye for JP and Mr wa Iria told the judge the main issue for determination is the 2013 party membership register used during the primaries.

Seeking a temporary stay, Mr Macharia told the judge that the tribunal erred in law and fact in issuing directions based on the 2013 register.

Mr Macharia said the beneficiary of the order, Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau, has announced that he would not participate in the repeat nominations.

“We will file an affidavit elaborating on Mr Kamau’s position that he has abandoned his interest in the governorship of Murang’a,” Mr Macharia told Justice Ong’udi.

Mr Macharia also disclosed he has provided a party list showing that registered members as at April were 514,000.

“The tribunal erred in law and in fact in finding that the 2013 register of Jubilee Party members from the office of the Registrar of Political Parties was proper register contemplated under Sections 28 and 31 (2) (d) of the Elections Act while ignoring a caution from the RPP that the proper register for the purpose of the primaries is submitted to the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and JP,” Mr Macharia said.

Mr Ng’ang’a, who teamed up with Mr Gatonye and Mr Njenga for the governor, told the judge that decision by the tribunal has far reaching effects not only on JP but also to other political parties who used 2013 party registers.

Mr Ng’ang’a said there could have been no valid Jubilee Party membership list in 2013 contrary to what the tribunal members Kyalo Mbobu (chairman), James Atemi and Hassan Abdi found.

Jubilee Party was registered in September 2016 after the merger of the The National Alliance of President Uhuru Kenyatta and United Republican Party of the deputy president William Ruto.

Mr wa Iria won by garnering 205,941 votes against Mr Kamau’s 118,274.

But Mr Kamau complained that those who cast votes exceeded registered members.

The hearing continues today.