List of MPs not sitting pretty after Gatundu shock ruling
The fate of at least 10 Members of Parliament who previously served as Ward Reps hangs in the balance after the High Court yesterday nullified the election of Gatundu North counterpart Anne Kibe.
In his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir declared the Gatundu North parliamentary seat vacant and directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to conduct fresh elections because Kibe was not qualified to vie.
She was still serving as a Nominated Member of County Assembly (MCA) in 2013.
“I declare that the MP’s seat has become vacant because the said election was in violation of the law,” ruled Korir.
The court also directed the Judiciary Deputy registrar to forward the ruling to the Speaker of the National Assembly for appropriate action.
Ms Kibe’s election had been nullified in 2018, but the Court of Appeal overturned the decision, giving her temporary relief.
However, former MP Clement Waibara, her main competitor, lodged another petition before the Constitutional court.
Waibara argued that Kibe, while serving as MCA with all the benefits and responsibilities accorded to that position, tendered her application to the Jubilee Party for nomination to contest the 2017 parliamentary election.
Court of Appeal had ruled that anomalies found in the August 8, 2017 poll results were administrative errors, which were not substantial to nullify Kibe’s election.
Waibara had informed the court that the MP was not qualified to be a candidate when she was still an MCA with a monthly salary and all the other benefits and responsibilities accorded to that position.
According to the petition, Kibe, a former broadcaster, was nominated by The National Alliance party to serve as a Nominated MCA at the Kiambu County Assembly for a period of five years starting July 17, 2013.
MPs who could be affected by the ruling include Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala (former Mahiakalo MCA), Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika (served as Nakuru Speaker), Kilifi Woman Rep Gertrude Mbeyu (former Kibarani MCA), Mombasa Woman Rep Asha Mohamed and Maragwa MP Mary Waithira who were nominated MCAs in Mombasa and Murang’a, respectively.
Others are Laikipia Woman Rep Cate Waruguru, who was a Nominated MCA, former Laikipia Speaker Patrick Mariru, the Laikipia West MP, Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda who was the Gem Central ward MCA and former Keekonyokie MCA George Sunkuyia, who rose to become the Kajiado West MP.
Kibe participated in and won the Jubilee Party primaries ahead of the 2017 elections.
However, she had failed to resign as an MCA as required by law since her term had not ended.
Yesterday, a jubilant Waibara said his perseverance to seek adherence to the Constitution had paid off, revealing that he was now ready to battle it out with Kibe when IEBC declares the seat vacant.
“Everybody must abide by the Constitution particularly on matters of qualification.
Our justice has been served and we now look forward to fresh elections.
I will also be contesting the seat to serve the thousands of Gatundu North constituents better,” he said.
Kibe, who did not respond to our calls yesterday, took to social media to express her feelings.
“It is well with my soul,” she wrote on her Facebook account.