Inside Politics

Sabina Chege, Kanini Kega in court over Azimio-Jubilee wrangles

Monday, April 15th, 2024 20:12 | By
Section of Jubilee party legislators and politicians in court.
Section of Jubilee party legislators and politicians in court. PHOTO/Hon. Sabina Wanjiru wa Chege/Facebook

Nominated MP Sabina Chege and Kanini Kega faction of the Jubilee party on Monday appeared before the High Court over the Azimio-Jubilee coalition wrangles.

Chege, Kega and 20 politicians of the Jubilee party appeared before Milimani High Court Judge Chacha Mwita following court summons to shed light on the dispute that has rocked the former ruling party.

The leaders however did not tender their evidence since the court allowed only eight new parties to be enjoined in the lawsuit filed by the Azimio coalition.

The court allowed MPs Samuel Arama and Steve Mogaka, Adan Keynan, Rachel Nyamai, Joshua Kuttuny, Fatuma Dullo and Abdulkadir Haji as interested parties in the lawsuit.

Justice Mwita directed all the parties to file their written submissions within 14 days and exchange them before the hearing of the matter on October 7, 2024.

Jubilee-Azimio wrangles

The dispute stems from a decision of National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula to recognize the former ruling party as a parliamentary party and not a member of the Azimio coalition.

Raila Odinga-led coalition moved to court last year in June accusing Wetangula of violating the Constitution and interfering with the internal management of the coalition.

The opposition coalition also blames Wetangula for delaying the implementation of a decision to remove Sabina Chege as minority deputy chief whip and replace her with Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje.

After the court session, the MPs led by Keynan stated that they recognised Chege as their party leader and not former president Uhuru Kenyatta.

He added Jubilee is not a party affiliate to Azimio as it decamped long ago.

"Anyone trying to drag us back to Azimio is wasting his time as Jubilee long quit the coalition," Keynan stated.

In the suit papers, the coalition wants the court to declare Chege's position and recognition of Jubille as a party unconstitutional as well as order that the MP refund public funds spent in running her alleged office.

“…Declaration that the purported position of the whip of the Jubilee Party as a parliamentary party, be declared unconstitutional and be revoked… that the direction of the Speaker of the National Assembly for Sabina Chege be recognized as Jubilee Party whip, be revoked and that the direction for the Clerk of the National Assembly that facilities for Chege is a whip for Jubilee Party be revoked,” reads the court documents.

Azimio is further seeking “a declaration that Sabina Chege to repay all public money spent as a whip as well as an order awarding costs of the petition to the petitioner.”

According to Azimio, the action by the speaker contravenes critical sections of the law including infringement of the right to equality and freedom from discrimination, usurpation of powers and undermining of independence of political parties, denial to access to justice and misappropriation of public funds.

The opposition party’s arguments stem from a past ruling where Wetangula, instead of dewhiping Chege as requested by the Minority Whip Opiyo Wandayi, declined severally and instead recognized Jubilee party, which is part of Azimio, an independent parliamentary party.

The speaker went on to recognize Chege as the Jubilee party whip despite efforts by the Minority Leader to inform him that Jubilee was still part of Azimio.

"In communication No.77 of 2023, the respondent recognized the Jubilee Party as a Parliamentary Party and appointed Sabina Chege as the whip of the Jubilee party in the interim," noted the letter.

"Through the same communication, respondent also guided on the allocation of facilitation to the whip of the Jubilee party, Sabina Chege."

Azimio says the Speaker’s go-ahead for Chege to assume the interim office thereby receiving facilitation also contravenes the law since it is a misuse of public funds.

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