Jubilee yet to clean up mess over its Kitui South candidate

Jubilee Party is grappling to comply with a court order that directed it to conduct parliamentary nomination in Kitui South within 48 hours.

The order issued by the Court of Appeal on Friday quashed the party’s direct nomination of incumbent Rachel Kaki Nyamai.

The instruction by the three-judge bench lapses tomorrow at 4pm.

NO CONSENSUS
Following a successful petition by former Kitui South MP Samuel Kalii Kiminza, Judges Kihara Kariuki, Agnes Murgor and Stephen Kairu overturned High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule’s ruling that upheld the party’s decision.

A meeting convened today morning at the party’s headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, between the two contestants to strike a consensus over the matter ended in disarray after Mr Kiminza insisted that a nomination be carried out as directed by the court.

CONTEMPT OF COURT
The panel chaired by Rev Charles Kobia, a member of Jubilee National Elections Board, interviewed the two on their preparedness for the main election in August, and whether they can strike a compromise without agitating for a primary.

“Considering what the Court of Appeal ordered, that meeting was immaterial and I told the panel I’ll accept nothing short of party nomination at the constituency, not boardroom negotiations,” Mr Kiminza told the Sunday Nation on telephone.

He said if Jubilee does not comply, he will ensure the Secretary General Raphael Tuju is held for contempt and violation of his constitutional rights.

TRIBUNAL RULES
The long-running battle between Mr Kiminza and Ms Nyamai started when the party handed the latter a direct nomination in April, despite the two aspirants having been cleared to seek its ticket.

The dispute was first heard by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal, which quashed the ticket issued to the incumbent and ordered Jubilee to conduct nomination within 96 hours.

Ms Nyamai then moved to the High Court to contest the judgement on claims that her right to stand for the August 8 parliamentary election will be jeopardised.

APPROVED BY IEBC
She argued that the party had the prerogative of choosing its candidates through secret ballot, direct nomination or through consensus and therefore could not be compelled by the petitioner’s argument.

The first time MP got a temporary reprieve when Justice Muchelule set aside the Tribunal’s ruling and was even cleared by IEBC, prompting Mr Kiminza to move to the appeals Court.

Mr Kiminza then sued both the MP and the party for allegedly violating his legitimate expectation that the party would conduct a nomination so that he could get a fair chance to compete.

NOMINATION CANCELLED
He told the judges that voters in the constituency had been denied an opportunity to exercise their democratic right of electing a leader of their choice.

“The appellant is aggrieved by the decision of High Court, which essentially confirmed the nomination of Ms Nyamai on a misapprehension of the law because it knew that there were more than one candidate in Kitui South,” his lawyers argued.

Unlike other constituencies in the country, the Jubilee nomination in Kitui South was postponed on two occasions until they were eventually put off indefinitely and a direct ticket issued to Ms Nyamai.

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