22 March 2014

Kenya: Munya Reprieve By Supreme Court

MERU Governor Peter Munya was yesterday given a reprieve by the Supreme Court after it ruled that he continues serving the people of the county.

In a ruling given by judges Jackton Ojwang and Smokin Wanjala, the orders essentially mean that Meru Speaker, Joseph Kaberia, will not be sworn in on Monday as scheduled as the acting governor. According to the Constitution, if a governors seat is declared vacant, the speaker is sworn in on an acting capacity for 60 days pending a by-election.

"Further ruling will be given out on Wednesday April 2," Wanjala said after hearing preliminary objection of the appeal.

On Thursday, Munya moved to the court after the Court of Appeal sitting in Nyeri on Wednesday last week nullified his election.

High Court judge Aoron Makau sitting in Meru had upheld Munya's election in August last year before Dickson Kithinji a close ally of former assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria who was vying for the seat moved to the Court of Appeal.

On hearing the case, appellant judges Alnashir Visram, J. Mohammed and Otieno Odek revoked Munya's election.

In a defence carried out by senior counsel Okongo Omogeni and Tom Ojienda yesterday, they said the appeal raised conventional issues of the Constitution which needed interpretation.

Ojienda said it will be unjust for Munya who was elected by the people of Meru to be removed from office until Constitutional matters are interpreted in the judgment made by appellant judges.

IEBC lawyer prayed for a stay saying the country might end up spending Sh300 million to organise a by election for the county.

However, Kithinji's laywer Muthomi Thiankolu had objected for the stay saying it will open a flood gate for all the petition cases to be taken to the Supreme Court.

"Not any political dispute should be settled in the Supreme Court. The appeal should be dismissed at this earliest stage," he said.

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