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AG Muigai files petition in court challenging legality of NASA's People’s Assemblies

By Kamau Muthoni | January 23rd 2018

Attorney General Githu Muigai has moved to court to challenge the formation of the People’s Assemblies in the NASA support base.

The AG in a case filed under certificate of urgency against 15 county assemblies and Council of County Governors, asked the court to declare formation of the assemblies illegal and unconstitutional.

Already 15 have passed a motion to form the People’s Assemblies.

But the Chief Government legal advisor argues that these are illegal actions by MCAs since there is no law requiring them to do so.

“The establishment of the People’s Assemblies by the aforementioned county assemblies is an illegality as the institution is alien to the Constitution and is neither within the framework of the County Governments Act or any other legislation,” the court papers read.

“The establishment of the proposed assemblies is also not envisioned within the mandate and the functions of the county assemblies or indeed the County Governments. The respondents continue to use public resources in illegal activities not envisioned in the Constitution.”

The High Court had issued orders last year restraining all county assemblies from passing or implementing motions on the formation of the assemblies. Kitui judge Lilian Mutende gave the order.

"An order is hereby issued restraining the respondents and the members of the county assemblies from constituting a special college for the appointment of election members, delegations and observers of the People’s Assembly," the judge ruled.

The case filed before the judge ought to come for a mention on January 28.

MCAs in the Opposition, however, ignored the orders and went ahead to pass the motion.

The AG argues that only Parliament can bring electoral changes and also address the issue of devolution.

He says: “The greater range of issues in the motion for the People’s Assemblies is an agenda domiciled within the mandate of Parliament. The Constitution has established structures and institutions within which any grievances can be addressed within the law. Any other mechanism other than what is provided in the law is an attempt to overthrow the Constitutional order and is null and void.”

The contention between National Super Alliance (NASA) and the State emanates from last year’s presidential election.

On October 31 last year, NASA leader Raila Odinga announced that counties would form the assemblies in a bid to push for reforms and electoral justice.

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