The High Court Tuesday certified as urgent an application by ousted Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Majority Whip Susan Kihika opposing their removal from the Jubilee Party Senate leadership.
In the case before Justice James Makau, Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika lists Jubilee Party, its secretary-general Raphael Tuju, chairman Nelson Dzuya, Kanu, the Registrar of Political Parties, and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka as respondents.
“The respondents have in blatant violation of the law engaged in an illegal coalition where after have purported with the strength of the said coalition to remove the Majority Leader and Majority Whip of the Senate in blatant disregard of lawful procedures,” Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika argued in the pleadings.
The case will be mentioned Thursday when directions on compliance will be made. Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika have been allowed to serve the respondents via e-mail.
In the case, Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika protest their removal from their offices saying the threshold for their ouster had not been met.
They argue that the presence of Kanu members in the parliamentary group meeting that elected West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio and his Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang’ata to replace Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika, respectively, did not have the quorum and had that the Kanu-Jubilee post-election deal was null and void as it had not been sanctioned by the ruling party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
The Ruto-allied team had Tuesday morning scored a Round One win against the Kanu-Jubilee deal after the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) suspended its implementation.
In a ruling, the PPDT suspended any action accruing from the deal which the Registrar of Political Parties confirmed on May 8.
“In the interest of justice, an interim order be and is hereby issued declaring that any decision or action founded on the coalition agreement purportedly signed between Jubilee Party and Kanu and deposited on May 4, 2020 and approved or confirmed by the registrar of political parties on May 8, 2020 is null and void and off no effect,” the tribunal ruled.
In the ruling, the PPDT blocked any execution of the Jubilee-Kanu deal until the ruling party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has met.
“An interim order is hereby issued restraining Jubilee and Kanu from making any coalition agreement on behalf of Jubilee with any other party/parties without a valid, formal resolution of a duly convened National Executive Committee of the Jubilee Party and in strict compliance of the provisions of the Political Parties Regulations, 2019 and Article 32.2 of the Jubilee Party Constitution,” the tribunal ruled.
Any such deal the Jubilee Constitution says, “shall originate from a Post-Election Coalition Negotiation Panel consisting of the national chairperson, the secretary-general and two other persons nominated by the National Executive Committee.”
The agreement between the two parties was received by the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu and was signed by Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju, chairman Nelson Dzuya, and from Kanu, Gideon Moi and the SG, Nick Salat.
The Ruto team insists that Jubilee NEC has never met since 2017 and could therefore not have approved the deal, protests that Jubilee deputy secretary-general Caleb Kositany wrote to the registrar about yesterday.
“Please be informed that the aforementioned Agreement is not compliant with the Jubilee Constitution and the Political Parties Act, therefore it is null and void, “said Mr Kositany in the letter.
As this was happening, it emerged Tuesday that any post-election pact between opposition parties with Jubilee will face legal hurdles over existing agreements which are still in force.
Two parties in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) — Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Democratic Movement — have hinted at entering into a coalition with Jubilee.
The Nation has established that the opposition parties must first pull out of their existing coalitions before joining Jubilee Party.
Nasa steering committee member Dr Eseli Simiyu, who is also the Ford Kenya Secretary General, yesterday revealed that if the two parties choose to form another coalition, they must first pull out of Nasa.
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