Former Gatundu MP in court over elections
Thursday, April 15th, 2021
by Eric Wainaina
Former Gatundu North MP Clement Waibara(pictured) now wants an election petition appeal he lodged against the incumbent Wanjiku wa Kibe to be dispensed with this month.
The high court had declared the seat vacant after Waibara filed a petition arguing that Wanjiku was ineligible to contest in the 2017 elections because by the time she was being cleared by the electoral body, she was still a Nominated MCA.
The ruling was however overturned after Wanjiku filed an appeal.
But is his fresh applications, Waibara argues that Wanjiku’s appeal which also affects eleven other MPs who served as MCAs and County Speakers, was filed on November 24, 2020, fourteen days late, and is yet to be determined and is therefore “non-suited, fatally and irredeemably defective.”
According to Waibara, “any appeal arising from an Election petition must be filed within 30 date of the judgement and determined within six months”, and therefore the pending appeal ought to have been filed before November 7, 2020 and determined before April 7, this year.
He adds: “In light of the foregoing urgency, it is imperative that the application be heard within the current April Court Vacation.”
Wanjiku got a reprieve on October 7, after appellate judges suspended Justice Weldon Korir’s ruling annulling her election to allow her file a petition.
But in a fresh twist, four individuals have filed a petition seeking to have Wanjiku’s appeal thrown out for late filing.
Kennedy Mwaura, Samuel Waweru, John Kamau and Kevin Kiogora, through lawyer Elvis Ondieki, in petition filed before Justice James Makau want Wanjiku’s appeal to be rendered useless on grounds that she obtained the appeal orders 21 days after Korir had declared the seat vacant.
“By dint of Article 101, 4 (a), the Gatundu North Constituency became vacant by operation by law on 27th October 2020, it follows that there was nothing to stay by the court of appeal since the seat was already vacant,” reads part of the suit.
According to petitioners, Korir’s ruling should have been declared vacant “by operation of law” on October 27, 2020 but the Court of Appeal issued orders on October 28, more than 21 days set by the court.