The nomination of Ms Faith Wairimu Gitau as Nyandarua Woman representative candidate by the Jubilee Party has been confirmed by High Court, as Ms Wavinya Ndeti continues to vigorously defend her selection as Wiper’s Machakos gubernatorial candidate.
Striking out the case by Nyandarua incumbent Wanjiku Muhia to compel Jubilee to conduct fresh nomination within 72 hours as directed by the Court of Appeal on June 8, Justice George Odunga said the “issue was best determined by the party”.
Justice Odunga said the orders sought by Ms Muhia could not be enforced by the High Court since “it was a dispute involving members of a political party”.
“Jubilee has an elaborate structure of resolving internal disputes arising from party matters as clearly and vividly stated by lawyer Tom Macharia who said the issue of nomination of the woman rep candidate was properly resolved,” he ruled.
The judge said the case by Ms Muhia seeking to invoke the court’s jurisdiction to enforce orders of the Court of Appeal was unmerited and unreasonable.
The court observed the issue brought by Ms Muhia was best resolved by the tribunal set up by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) or the party dispute resolution organs.
“Orders sought by Ms Muhia are unenforceable as they do not fall within the scope of this court although it has unlimited powers and jurisdiction,” Justice Odunga said.
Ms Muhia, through her lawyer Prof Tom Ojienda had filed a judicial review application seeking orders to quash a decision by Jubilee to carry out interviews amongst four aspirants of the woman rep post who had presented themselves for nomination on April 26, 2017.
The nomination was marred with violence, which left one person dead.
In the impugned primary, Ms Gitau had garnered 102,004 votes while Ms Muhia managed to get 75,000 votes.
All ballot boxes and ballot papers were burned during the exercise.
Ms Muhia challenged the decision before the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT).
She won and Ms Gitau appealed against the decision before Justice Stella Mutuku who upheld the Jubilee decision to pick her.
Ms Muhia appealed before a three judge bench, Justice Roselyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga and Stephen Kairu Gatembu, that revoked Justice Mutuku’s order and directed Jubilee to conduct fresh nomination.
Instead, JP called the aspirants and explained to them the difficulties of conducting a fresh poll then asked them to reach a consensus for one nominee.
Ms Muhia walked out and then Ms Gitau was picked.
At the same time, Appellate Judges Paul Kariuki, Agnes Murgor and Stephen Gatembu ordered JP to conduct nomination for Kitui South within 48 hours starting 4pm today.
Former MP Samuel Kiminza had challenged the direct nomination of incumbent Rachel Nyamai.
WAVINYA IN COURT
Meanwhile, Justice Odunga will on June 21 determine the validity of Ms Ndeti’s selection against allegations that she is also a member of Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU).
Ms Ndeti has challenged a decision by IEBC to strike her name out of the list of candidates due to double membership, saying “she complied with the law by resigning before being nominated by Wiper”.
Lawyers Nzamba Kitonga and Willis Otieno for Ms Ndeti said she quit CCU before being given a platinum membership in Wiper.
Mr Kitonga said the IEBC tribunal chaired by Mr Wafula Chebukati did not have the jurisdiction to hear the complaint by Wamunyu MCA Kyalo Peter Kyuli since the PPDT had twice determined the issue on Ms Ndeti’s nomination.
“The IEBC tribunal should pronounce itself incompetent to entertain the complaint by Kyuli as it was res judicater (already determined) then dismiss his application,” Mr Kitonga said.
IEBC, through lawyer Paul Nyamondi, submitted that Ms Ndeti violated Sections 28 and 31 of the Elections Act.
He said Ms Ndeti is “a stranger to IEBC” as she violated the two sections by failing to resign in accordance with the law.
“As far as the law is concerned Ms Ndeti is still a member of CCU and also a member of Wiper,” Mr Nyamondi stated.