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Activist Omtatah takes on political parties over clearance of aspirants

Activist Okiya Omtata Okoiti doing his presentation at a high court. He is seeking to have voter registration period extended. 16/2/2017 GEORGE NJUNGE

A human rights activist wants political parties restrained from demanding certificates of clearance from the candidates.

Okiya Omtatah claims the move by the parties is illegal and unconstitutional and contradicts article 24 of the Constitution.

“The directive is not based on any legislation that meets the threshold for limiting the enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in article 38 of the constitution,” said Omtatah.

In his suit papers before the High Court, Mr Omtatah claims that the requirement negates the doctrine of presumption of innocence until the contrary is proven.

He says that there is no need for candidates to be cleared by Kenya Revenue Authority, Higher Educations Loans Board, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Credit Reference Bureau, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) or any other agency because this is “against the law”.

 FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS

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“The impugned requirements are unconstitutional, null and void because they contradict Article 24 of the Constitution to the extent that they are not based on any legislation that meets the threshold for limiting the enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in Article 38(3) (c),” he said.

Omtatah has sued Jubilee Party, Wiper Party, Maendeleo Chap Chap, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Attorney General.

“The respondents have violated Article 38(3) (c) of the Constitution of Kenya by imposing unreasonable restrictions on citizens wishing to vie on the tickets of the parties at the 8th August 2017 General Election,” he said.

He added that the requirements are not based on any legislation that meets the threshold for limiting the enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in law.

 

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