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Why Midiwo shelved anti-IEBC petition in the last minute

By Mwaniki Munuhe | May 22nd 2016

A move by the Opposition to seek a court order barring the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from performing their official duties was halted in the last minute, The Standard on Sunday can report.

The petition, drafted and sworn by Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, was shelved when CORD chiefs realised that involving the courts in their bid to eject IEBC commissioners from office, would hand the commission technical insulation from street demonstrations.

Part of the Jakoyo petition, a copy of which we obtained, reads in part: “The respondents have not only displayed an open liking for the ruling coalition but have also manifestly displayed a passionate hatred, dislike, contempt, derision and disdain for the opposition coalition.”

It continues: “It is necessary that the respondents be stopped by the orders of this court forthwith from purporting to execute the duties of the IEBC as provided under article 88 of the Constitution and any other legislation, and from making any decision or doing any action in purported preparation for the 2017 general election pending the determination of the issues raised in the substantive petition filed herewith.”

Sources say it was CORD leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula who prevailed upon Midiwo to drop the petition in a meeting held at Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

However, Kalonzo denied ever seeing or hearing about the said petition. “I have never seen or heard about it, ask Midiwo,” he said.

Midiwo refuted these claims, saying he never spoke to any of the CORD principals on the matter. He nonetheless admitted that many people within the coalition felt the petition, if filed, would jeopardise the ongoing protests to eject IEBC commissioners.

“I did not do it for the simple reason that people felt the commissioners would use the reason of the court to delay the process of getting them out of office. That is why I stood it down. It’s an issue of timing, otherwise I will still go to court. I now know that IEBC is involved in many more illegal things that I want to bring out very soon,” he said.

The Gem MP said he was also motivated to hold onto the petition because of comments allegedly made by Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi over the IEBC standoff.

Muturi allegedly said “CORD doesn’t want to go to court neither does it want to go to Parliament. They are just blowing whistles”.

“These comments by the Speaker made me suspicious,” he added. But Muturi would not weigh in on the matter, only saying: “Anybody aggrieved by the decision of any institution in this country, including Parliament and the Executive, has a right to go to court to seek redress. I expect that people are aware of these rights,” he said.

Midiwo’s petition further accused IEBC of threatening to bar CORD from participating in the next elections.

“That by stating that they will bar CORD from participating in the next elections for demonstrating against them, they have clearly demonstrated that whenever there is a conflict between their personal interest and public interest, then they will always sacrifice the public interest in favour of their individual interests in clear violation of the constitution, the Public Officer Ethics Act as well as the Leadership and Integrity Act.”

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