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Court quashes ruling barring Susan Kihika from vying

By Faith Karanja | Published Fri, June 16th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 15th 2017 at 22:51 GMT +3

Jubilee’s Nakuru Senate aspirant Susan Kihika speaks after court quashed the dispute tribunal’s decision to bar her. [George Njunge]

The High Court Thursday quashed the disqualification of Susan Kihika from the Nakuru senatorial seat.

Judge George Odunga said the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal erred in barring the senatorial aspirant since it acted against the law to hear the matter on interpretation of the law.

"The tribunal did not have jurisdiction to interpret the law, hear, and determine the matter," said Justice Odunga. Ms Kihika is the Jubilee nominee for the seat.

"The decision made on June 12, 2017 must be null and void and is, therefore, quashed," said Odunga.

The judge said the tribunal did not perform its duties accordingly because it acted outside its mandate by entertaining the petition.

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"The tribunal and subordinate court must act within their ranks and mandate to ensure proper administration of justice," he ruled.

Kihika had challenged the tribunal's decision to bar her from contesting the senatorial seat over allegations that she did not resign from her position at the county assembly on time, as required by the law. Through lawyer Tom Ojienda, Kihika had told the court that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to interpret the Constitution.

Prof Ojienda told the court that the tribunal's decision was in bad faith and in excess of its powers.

The tribunal had accused Kihika of failing to resign from the Office of speaker of the Nakuru County assembly before seeking the Senate nomination.