High Court quashes petition to shield Majority Leader Jason Tuja from ouster

The fate of two top assembly officials now lies with the Speaker after a court dismissed an application to stop their removal from office.

Voi High Court judge Lady Justice Farah Amin said the case filed by Majority Leader Jason Tuja and Chief Whip Abraham Juma was a political matter that could be resolved by their party.

“The High Court feels that this is a political issue and the party mechanism should be engaged. The issue is not a matter for the court and the parties concerned should sit and decide on it,” Justice Amin ruled yesterday.

She added: “Political parties should sit and sort out their issues through internal mechanisms instead of using the court to resolve their disputes.”

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The petitioners in the case were Mr Tuja and Mr Juma - all from ODM - while the first and second respondents were Speaker Meshack Maganga and Assembly Clerk Michael Ngala respectively.

Effectively served

Other respondents were MCAs Jones Solomon Mghanga, Joyce Mwangoji, Catherine Mwakiwiwi, Chanzu Khamadi and Omar Nguzo.

While dismissing the application, Justice Amin pointed out that the petitioners had not effectively served the respondents.

Last Thursday, the High Court had granted an injunction stopping the leaders’ ouster, plunging the county assembly into chaos.

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Trouble started when Mr Maganga read the court communique that put a halt to their plans to change the top ODM leadership.

But yesterday, the petitioners’ lawyer Nyange Sharia faulted Justice Amin for dismissing the case without giving him a hearing.

Meaningful case

“We had a meaningful case but it was difficult for my clients to effect the service,” said Mr Sharia.

He added: “You cannot dismiss a case that is coming up for hearing. I was not heard. I will consult with my clients to know the way forward because we have 14 days to appeal against the ruling. We have good chances of winning the case.”

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However, ward representatives allied to the respondents hailed the ruling.

“People should respect court processes. The petitioners were trying to buy time,” said Kaloleni MCA Ahmed Omar.

The ODM legislator said they had earlier written to the Speaker about the change of leadership in the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

“We are still waiting for the Speaker to decide on our letter. We are replacing Nasa leadership in the house,” said Mr Omar.

He revealed that former Majority Leader Jones Maganga might make a comeback as the majority leader, adding that in their proposed line-up, nominated MCA Catherine Mwakiwiwi had been proposed for the deputy majority leader’s position, while nominated MCA Joyce Mwangoji would be the new chief whip.

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Omarv clarified that they were not targeting Maganga or Mr Ngala for removal.

Tuja, however, said the matter was an ODM affair and accused Jubilee members of sabotage.

“Let ODM legislators with concerns bring them to the table for discussion and resolution instead of using the ruling coalition and legislators without parties to destabilise the Opposition.”

The impending leadership changes come barely a day after ODM county officials warned the MCAs of disciplinary action if they dared remove Tuja.

SpeakerMajority Leader Jason TujaChief Whip Abraham JumaHigh CourtSpeaker Meshack MagangaAssembly Clerk Michael NgalaODMMCAsJustice Farah Amin