Kenya: Tribunal Bars Wetang'ula From Presenting Himself as Ford-Kenya Party Leader

16 September 2020

The wrangles in Ford-Kenya have taken a new twist after the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) issued orders barring Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula from presenting himself as the party leader.

In a move that may likely paralyse the party, the tribunal further barred Wetang'ula's faction from presenting resolutions of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting it held on August 17 to the office of registrar of political parties for action pending the determination of the case.

An application filed at the tribunal by Crispinus Barasa, who is allied to the group that kicked out Mr Wetang'ula as the party leader, says the NEC meeting was illegal because as it was convened in violation of a court order.

They also term the move by the senator to hold the NEC totally out of order since the party NEC members had earlier removed Mr Wetang'ula as the party's chairman.

"An order is hereby issued barring the respondents from presenting or effecting at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties in furtherance of the meeting held on August 17," says the tribunal's order issued by the chairperson Desma Nungo.

Mr Wetang'ula is listed as the first respondent, Joel Amuma Ruhu as the second, Milicent Abudho as the third and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa as the fourth respondent.

MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi) and Esseli Simiyu led the team that toppled Mr Wetang'ula last May. They then installed Mr Wamunyinyi as the new party leader.

However, the senator moved to the high court and challenged his removal and the matter is still pending in the high court.

Mr Wamunyinyi and Mr Simiyu have challenged the suit arguing that the High court has no jurisdiction to hear political party disputes in the first instance.

The ruling of the matter will be made on September 25.

On August 2, Mr Wetangula issued a 14-day notice summoning a NEC meeting of his faction for August 17.

However, Registrar of Political Parties cautioned Mr Wetang'ula said it would be sub-judice to convene such a meeting before the High Court makes a ruling on who are bonafide party officials.

Ms Nungo ruled that the matter be mentioned on September 18 to confirm compliance of the orders and for issuance of further direction.

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