Wanjiku Kibe: Endless cases won’t let MP work in peace
When former broadcaster Wanjiku Kibe was declared the Gatundu North MP in August 2017 after garnering 39,191 votes, she envisioned a smooth five-year tenure to implement her manifesto.
She beat five men among them incumbent Kigo Njenga, now a county minister in Kiambu and former MP Clement Waibara both of who returned to the race as independent candidates, after losing the coveted Jubilee Party ticket to her.
But the former Kiambu nominated Ward Rep who become the first female lawmaker in the constituency, has since been walking a tight rope after her victory took a rough terrain following unending court battles launched by Waibara, including Supreme Court to challenge her win, some of which have been filed over three years since he was sworn in.
From fraud claims during the vote, ineligibility to stand because she was still an MCA, now at the appeal court and a fresh case against the electoral-body and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi for failing to declare the seat vacant, after a successful petition last month, these cases have seen her spend energy in the corridors of justice than in Parliament.
The MP had on October 7, got a reprieve after appellate judges suspended a ruling by Justice Weldon Korir annulling her election into Parliament, on grounds that she ought to have resigned as an MCA before contesting as MP. The judge directed Muturi and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to declare her seat vacant.
But her amnesty seems to have been short-lived after four Gatundu North voters rushed to court on Wednesday in a fresh case where Speaker Muturi, IEBC, Wanjiku and Waibara have been sued for disobeying Korir’s ruling and giving the embattled MP a chance to file an appeal, days after the court had ruled that the seat be declared vacant.
Kennedy Mwaura, Samuel Waweru, John Kamau and Kevin Kiogora, through lawyer Elvis Ondieki, in a petition filed before Justice James Makau want Wanjiku’s appeal rendered useless, on grounds that she obtained the appeal order after the lapse of the 21 days which Korir had directed IEBC and Muturi to declared to Gatundu North seat vacant.
The case will be heard on and scheduled for hearing on November 17.
“The petitioners aver that the fact the Speaker of the National Assembly stayed mute for 22 days, implies that he acknowledged that the Gatundu North seat was vacant as declared by the High Court on October 7,” adds the suit where the court has been invited to determine if Muturi violated the law.
Also in fresh but different matter that could see her become an interested party, two Murang’a residents, Kennedy Ngondi and Martin Njuguna on Wednesday asked the court to declare as null and void, the election of MPs who did not resign as MCAs before the 2017 General Election, was in violation of the Constitution.
Wanjiku began legal battles to defend her election at the Kiambu High Court where Justice Joel Ngugi ordered IEBC to repeat the election, which in his own words was “conducted so badly” and done with a “systematic carelessness, and mediocrity” after Waibara successfully proved massive irregularities during the exercise.
But Wanjiku moved to the Court of Appeal where she successfully overturned Ngugi’s ruling.
But Waibara, who represented the constituency between 2007 and 2012, moved to the Supreme Court, where he again lost.
He filed yet another case, challenging WAnjiku’s eligibility to vie before Lady Justice Lydia Achode, but he also lost in August last year, only for him to return with a fresh suit which Justice Korir agreed with and annulled Wanjiku’s election.