Senate Speaker defends ouster of Mwaura from Senate

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and Isaac Mwaura (R). [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka sought to set the record straight on his decision to de-gazette Isaac Mwaura as Nominated Senator.

Dr Lusaka who last week came under fire from a section of senators who faulted his move despite a court order, refraining him from implementing the decision of the Jubilee Party to revoke Mwaura's nomination, yesterday maintained that he acted within the law in declaring a vacancy upon the expulsion of the Nominated Senator.

He told members that there was no court order barring him from declaring the vacancy.

"I wish to reiterate that by issuing the gazette notice, I followed the rule of law. The events leading to the issuance of declaration... the clerk of the Senate received a letter from the secretary-general of JP Raphael Tuju requesting for the declaration of a vacancy of the seat held by Mwaura... and calling our attention to the ruling of the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) dismissing the application for stay of the decision for expulsion," said Lusaka.

The Speaker said Tuju forwarded the judgment of the tribunal requesting him to among other things, issue a declaration of vacancy of the seat being held by the former Nominated Senator on May 10.

"The secretary-general of Jubilee Party referred to two previous communications made with regard to the question of the expulsion of Isaac Mwaura Maigua from the Jubilee Party," he said, adding that the tribunal had upheld his ejection from the ruling Jubilee Party.

On May 6, PPDT chaired by Desma Nungo declared his expulsion unlawful and contrary to the Jubilee constitution.

A day later, however, the tribunal overturned its ruling, dismissing the senator’s claims that the party had not furnished him with the charges against him.

Jubilee, through Tuju, expelled the senator for contravening the party’s constitution by announcing his allegiance to United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party linked to Deputy President William Ruto.

The party secretary-general announced the expulsion would take effect immediately and informed the Registrar of Political Parties to strike out the names of the six senators from the list of Jubilee members.

In February, the ruling party expelled Nominated Senators, Mwaura, Mary Seneta, Falhada Dekow Iman, Naomi Jillo Waqo, Victor Prengei, and Millicent Omanga but PPDT declared the quest to axe them illegal.

In March, the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu removed the name of Mwaura from the list of Jubilee Party members.

In a letter addressed to Tuju, the registrar said she took the step pending the adoption and ratification of the same by the party’s National Executive Committee.

The Speaker further said that on the same day he received another letter from the Registrar of Political Parties and addressed to Tuju confirming the removal of the name of Mwaura from the Jubilee Party membership.

"Based on this confirmation I proceeded to issue a Gazette Notice No. 4597 dated 10th May 2021 declaring a vacancy in the Senate for a seat of a member elected under Article 98(1)(d) of the Constitution and held by Hon. Isaac Mwaura Maigua effective 7th May 2021" he said.

Lusaka said there was no other motive towards the decision he made.

“Having considered the decision of the PPDT and the letter from the Registrar of Political Parties, I was persuaded that the requirement of declaring a vacancy had been met and therefore I proceeded to declare the said vacancy vide Gazette Notice No 4597,” he said.

Mwaura last week lost his seat following a lengthy tussle with the ruling Jubilee Party and has since been replaced by Former Samburu Senator Sammy Leshore.

Senators Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka/Nithi), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Susan Kihika (Nakuru), James Orengo (Siaya) and Moses Wetangula (Bungoma) protested the move to remove Mwaura and advised him to seek redress in the High Court.