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Judge punishes DP Ruto allies for dragging Jubilee and Kanu to court

By Kamau Muthoni | October 16th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Former Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and ex-Majority Whip Susan Kihika addressing the media at Parliament after they were dewhipped from their positions by their Jubilee Party on Monday, May 11, 2020. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika will now pay for dragging their party and Kanu to court.

Murkomen and Kihika sued Jubilee Party, its chair Nelson Dzuya, and Secretary-General Raphael Tuju seeking to overturn a coalition agreement with Kanu.

They then withdrew the case, but the parties sued asked Justice James Makau to condemn the two to shoulder their cost of hiring lawyers and filing responses.

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Jubilee, Dzuya, Kanu and Tuju told the judge that they had incurred unnecessary cost of hiring lawyers to defend themselves.

According to their lawyers, Murkomen and Kihika had sued as private persons and for personal reasons.

The two senators, however, pleaded for leniency, arguing that they had withdrawn the case as soon as they had filed it. They also claimed that they filed the case out of public interest.

Justice Makau ruled that the two senators should pay half of the costs for all respondents, an amount that will be determined by the Deputy Registrar of the court.

“The first to fourth respondents be and hereby awarded costs at 50 per cent of costs as shall be taxed by the taxing master,” the judge ruled.  

The two notified the court that they had opted to end the dispute on May 16, 2020.

The withdrawal was an indicator that they were retreating from challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to bring in more parties into a coalition.

Murkomen and Kihika wanted the Jubilee-Kanu deal struck out.

They claimed the coalition deal was unconstitutional and was not sanctioned by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC). They further claimed that their party leader had no numbers to warrant their removal from office.

However, Dzuya and Tuju urged the court to strike out the case as the two had jumped the gun by failing to engage the party to resolve the standoff before filing the case. The party accused Murkomen and Kihika of deceiving the court as there is a similar case before the PPDT.

“The petition is therefore premature, mischievous, vexatious and an abuse of court process,” Jubilee said in its court papers.

Kipchumba Murkomen Raphael Tuju Jubilee Party Kanu
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