Kibe not off the hook yet as Waibara renews fight for Gatundu North MP seat


Gatundu North MP Anne Wanjiku Kibe
Gatundu North MP Anne Wanjiku Kibe

Gatundu North MP Anne Wanjiku Kibe may have to defend her seat again after her rival Clement Kung’u Waibara filed a fresh application at the High Court seeking her removal from office.

Mr Waibara, who is a former MP, claims that Kibe did not qualify to vie for seat as she did not resign from her previous post as a nominated Member of County Assembly (MCA).

“Kibe with the express and assistance of IEBC, knowingly violated provisions of the constitution that prohibits election to the National Assembly of any person who holds office of MCA,” his petition reads.

In 2013, Kibe was nominated under The National Alliance (TNA) party to serve at the Kiambu County Assembly.

According to Waibara, she took advantage of her position and applied to the Jubilee Party so that she could be nominated to contest in the 2017 general election as their candidate for Gatundu MP seat.

Waibara added that the constitution requires sitting MCAs wishing to vie for elections as MPs to resign from office on or before the date of their application for nomination by political parties or upon nomination by their respective parties.

“Hon Kibe was not qualified for election to the said position as she was at the material times still holding office as an MCA in Kiambu County Assembly,” he said.

The Independent and Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been listed as a respondent in the suit.

Waibara accuses the IEBC of failing to discharge its mandate and ensure Ms Kibe was dully qualified under the constitution.

“IEBC knowingly or negligently failed to discharge it constitutional mandate in verifying the qualifications of Kibe and thereby caused a grave violation of the constitutions,”  he said

The former MP also faulted the commission claiming that it perpetuated an illegality that persists to date in breach of the constitution and at the expense of the constituents of Gatundu North.

He is also requesting to have an order directing the speaker of the National Assembly to issue to IEBC a notice in writing of the vacancy of the MP’s seat and that the court grants an order requiring IEBC to hold a by-election for the position of MP in the constituency.

Waibara had in September 2017 filed a petition at Kiambu High court challenging Kibe’s win claiming the election was not free and fair after he garnered 9,390 votes against 39,447 to Kibe.

The then Kiambu High Court Judge Joel Ngugi in March 2018 nullified the election citing irregularities and illegalities which prompted Kibe to move to the court of appeal where three Court of Appeal judges ruled in her favour.

The judges ruled that the anomalies found in the August 8, 2017 election results were administrative errors, which were not substantial to nullify the election and faulted the High Court judge who heard the case for conducting an audit of the election materials, yet no party had asked for it.

Waibara was dissatisfied with the Court of Appeal ruling and moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision.

However, in January 2019, the Supreme Court judges in their verdict agreed with the Court of Appeal saying that irregularities cited did not justify annulment.

 

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Story By Wanja Mbugua
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