Kenya: IEBC Decision to Bar Man From Kiagu Ward By-Election Quashed

22 October 2021

The High Court yesterday quashed a decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to disqualify Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) candidate, Milton Mwenda, from the Kiagu ward by-election in Meru county.

In a virtual ruling, Justice James Makau, said the IEBC violated the Elections Act.

He revoked the IEBC Leadership and Integrity Vetting Committee decision to invalidate Mr Mwenda's nomination.

CCK and Mr Mwenda moved to the High court when the commission ruled in favour of a complaint filed by Mr Salesio Thuranira, who is the South Imenti United Democratic Alliance (UDA) coordinator.

Mr Thuranira had contested the clearance of Mr Mwenda, alongside National Ordinary People's Empowerment Union (Nopeu) candidate Nathan Gitonga, who has since withdrawn from the contest.

Law on nominations

The two were employees of the County Assembly of Meru, the court was told.

Justice Makau, however, said CCK and Mr Mwenda should have followed the law on nominations.

"The IEBC should comply with the judgment and include the second petitioner's name, name of party, party symbol and colours on the ballot paper," the court directed.

Justice Makau also dismissed IEBC lawyer Douglas Bargorett's application for a stay of the judgment pending an appeal.

Mr Ndegwa Njiru, for CCK and Mr Mwenda opposed the application, saying it would violate the intention of the judgment to uphold the bill of rights.

10 other candidates

"The leave to appeal is not necessary since appealing is a right. The request for appeal is granted. This court finds that there is no merit to grant a stay of the judgment and it is rejected," Justice Makau said.

On October 1, the court suspended the printing of ballot papers for the by-election until the petition by CCK was heard and determined.

Justice Anthony Mrima, also directed the IEBC not to take steps towards preparing the by-election that was to be held on October 14.

The mini-poll has attracted 10 other candidates, including Ms Scholastica Mwendwa of Party of Democratic Unity, Mr Joseph Mwangi (Democratic Party), Mr Patrick Kamanda (Chama Cha Uzalendo), Mr Philip Micheni (Peoples' Party of Kenya) and Mr Nabea Kinyua of Ford Kenya.

Others are Mr Simon Kiambi (UDA), Mr Samson Magambo (Jubilee Party), Mr Richard Mwangi (Republican Liberty Party), Mr Haron Kaburu (Maendeleo Chap Chap) and Mr Douglas Bundi of Safina.

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