VOI, Kenya, Jul 3 – A member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party moved has moved to court challenging an addendum issued by the electoral commission expunging his name from the list of members proposed for nomination to the Taita Taveta Couty Assembly.
The petitioner – Athman Msafari – told the High Court in Voi, on Monday, the gazette notice number 9391 of September 26, 2017 breached the provisions of Article 177 of the Constitution and Section 74 of the Elections Act.
He argued that by the time the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) amended an earlier gazette notice containing his name to that of Christopher Mwambigu, the poll agency had become functus officio meaning it had no jurisdiction over the matter.
Msafari asked the court to uphold a gazette notice number 8380 which named him as the nominated Member of County Assembly.
He cited four High Court decisions arising from nomination disputes triggered by the amendment of gazette notice number 8380 in which the High Court in 2018, in all instances, ruled that IEBC did not have a mandate to delete names of nominated party members.
The petition also cited a 2016 Supreme Court ruling in a case between Moses Mucigi, the IEBC and for others in which the apex court held that the poll body becomes functus officio upon gazettement of members elected by their respective parties for nomination.
The petitioner argued revisions to the gazette could only be effected through an election court.
He also protested the delayed ruling on a similar matter he filed in 2017 in which he challenged the decision by the Taita Taveta County Assembly Speaker to swear in Mabingu as a nominated MCA.
According to a certificate of agency filed by the petitioner, a ruling on the matter has been pending since April 16, 2018.
“I have personally followed up the case in with the High Court Registry and staff members have been taking me in circles,” Msafari stated.
“I am apprehensive that the first respondent (Mwambigu) manipulated his way into the County Assembly and he continues to enjoy privileges of being a member of the House,” he added.
Msafari also petitioned the court to order the suspension of emoluments payable to Mwambingu pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
He also sought an order barring the nominated member from participating in County Assembly debates and committee meetings until the matter is determined by the court.