Machakos governor race takes new twist after Court ruling on Wavinya Ndeti case
High Court Judge, George Odunga, has stayed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Disputes Resolution Committee decision barring Wavinya Ndeti from contesting for the Machakos gubernatorial seat on Wiper ticket on August 8.
Justice Odunga ruled that Wavinya established a prima facie case, saying issues raised are substantive and cannot be termed as frivolous.
He has certified the matter as urgent and directed the IEBC to ensure Wavinya Ndeti’s name is printed on the ballot.
Wavinya moved to the High Court Friday, June 9, just a day after the IEBC Disputes Resolutions Tribunal nullified her nomination to contest for the Machakos gubernatorial post on a Wiper ticket and revoked her nomination certificate.
In its ruling, the IEBC Tribunal, led by chairman Wafula Chebukati, ruled that Wavinya committed an electoral offence by being a member of two political parties at the same time.
In a certificate of urgency, Wavinya argued that the respondent’s decision are prejudicial and violates her right to participate in public elections and further threatens to violate the political rights of people of Machakos County to freely elect a person of their choice as a governor.
Wavinya argued that in arriving at the decision that she is a member of two political parties, IEBC did not accord to the principles of the Constitution and the Political Parties Act in particular provisions on membership to a political party.
“Unless the orders are granted, the people of Machakos County will suffer irreparable loss and harm,” she argues.
Wavinya sought orders stopping the implementation of the IEBC tribunal’s decision.
She also wants the court to direct IEBC to include her name in the candidates list to be published in the Kenya Gazette.
In her affidavit, Wavinya claimed that she resigned for the Chama Cha Uzalendo Political Party on April 5, 2017 and joined Wiper Party when the CCU entered into a coalition agreement with the Wiper Party.
She argued that it is erroneous for IEBC to assert that she belongs to two political parties when it is clear from all the record in place that she is no longer a member of the Chama Cha Uzalendo but a member of Wiper Party.
“The process leading to the impugned decision is illegal, procedurally unfair and violates basic tenets of the rule of law, principle of natural justice and the right to a fair hearing,” she added.
The Tribunal allowed the complaint that was filed by voter Kyalo Peter Kyuli, who is also a Member of the Machakos County Assembly, seeking the nullification of Wavinya’s nomination as well as revocation of the certificate awarded to her by Wiper.
Kyalo, in his submission to the IEBC panel, argued that Wavinya has failed to meet several requirements set by the IEBC for contestants of elective posts.
He claimed that Wavinya is a member of two political parties; Wiper Democratic Movement and the Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU).
Ndeti, however, dismissed the claims made before the tribunal saying that her nomination is valid.
She urged the committee to dismiss the complaint arguing that the application is a witch-hunt as it seeks to reopen issues which have already been previously determined by a competent tribunal
According to the Elections Act 2011, anyone who decamps to another party 120 days to the election date is deemed to have violated the set rules and would not be allowed to contest on their new party’s ticket.
Mr Kyuli’s assertion received support from Machakos Senator, Johnstone Muthama, who also wanted Wavinya’s nomination by Wiper declared null and void.
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