The High Court has lifted a previous ban which was imposed on the Punguza Mizigo Bill following failure by petitioners to appear in court. High Court Judge John Mativo on threw away the petition submitted by David Ngari and Timothy Odhiambo after they failed to appear in court for the hearing.
“Orders issued to stop deliberations on the Punguza Mizigo Initiative Bill is hereby lifted,” ruled judge Mativo. The two were challenging the Third way Alliance’s Punguza Mizigo referendum Bill on its legality and raised questions on how the signatures were acquired.
They had asked the court to stop the consideration of the Bill by all the 47 county assemblies after Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) forwarded it to the devolved legislative assemblies. According to the petition seen by KDRTV, the two applicants argued IEBC had failed to authenticate signatures of voters supporting the plebiscite as well as asking Aukot’s team to verify how they came to get the signatures.
IEBC had said 1.2 million registered voters supported the initiative by the Ekuru Aukot-led Thirdway Alliance Party. Ngari had accused the IEBC of contravening Article 257 of the Constitution by failing to authenticate the signatures of 1,222,541 registered voters who supported the initiative.
“The admitted failure to authenticate the signatures of the purported supporters of the initiative amounts to a fundamental breach of the Constitution,” Ngari said.
With this ruling, Aukot and his team is expected to increase their activities across the country to the various county assemblies to try convince the MCAs to pass the bill.