Row over Wiper nomination list moves to Court of Appeal

The dispute arose after Wiper officials revised the nomination list in a special issue of the Kenya Gazette published on September. [File, Standard] 

The dispute over the Wiper party nomination list to the National Assembly has moved moved to the Court of Appeal.

At the same time some senior party officials have been accused of engaging in forgery to influence the nomination process.

Makueni businessman Lucas Wambua has contested Wiper's decision to nominate Mombasa businessman Abubakar Ahmed Talib.

The dispute arose after Wiper officials revised the nomination list in a special issue of the Kenya Gazette published on September 9 removing Talib's name and replacing it with that of Makueni businessman Lucas Wambua.

Talib moved to the High Court and Justice Joseph Sergon declared him the validly nominated MP.

However, Wambua has moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the Nomination of Talib by Wiper.

Talib, Wiper Secretary General, Chairman National Election Board and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have been listed as respondents in this case.

Wambua wants the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling by Justice Sergon delivered on September 9 where he ordered the IEBC to gazette Talib as Nominated MP, pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

He told the appellate court that the Judge erred in law and fact by failing to find that the Wiper Democratic Movement party process of putting him on the nomination list on July 22, was conducted in a free, fair, and lawful manner.

Wambua argued that the party list of June 25, was rejected by IEBC which caused an advertisement to be placed on its website inviting interested applicants to apply for consideration for nomination to the National Assembly and Talib did not apply for the same.

“The learned Judge erred in law and in fact in failing to find that as per the IEBC nomination rules and Constitution, the duty of determining the persons to be placed in the party list was bestowed on a political party and its party leader and that I had no role to play whatsoever,” Wambua told the court.

The businessman noted that Talib had been placed by Wiper at position one in the list rejected IEBC on July 15.

“Justice Sergon erred in law and in fact in failing to find that I was procedurally and lawfully nominated to the list submitted on July 22 to IEBC,” Mulinge told the Court.

Meanwhile, police are probing allegations of swearing of a fake affidavit by Wiper officials including Secretary General Shakila Abdalla, Agatha Solitei chairperson of the National Elections Board and Roy Ombasa the head of ICT.

Through a letter dated September 20 to Wiper, the investigators led by DCI officer in charge of Kilimani Division Stephen ole Tanki noted that Talib lodged a complaint that he was illegally and unlawfully removed as the party nominee in favour of Lucas Mulinge Wambua using forged documents including affidavits. 

The Mombasa businessman claimed that Ms Abdalla allegedly swore a replying affidavit on behalf of Wiper during the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) proceedings, that she attended a party meeting to discuss the nominations in Nairobi on July 22 while she was actually in Lamu.

"The affidavit directly influenced the judgment outcome on August 3 in the PPDT E099 of 2022. She also swore in the affidavit that on July 15 the party posted a new advert for its nominations yet the said advert was posted on July 28, 2022," read the DCI letter summoning the party officials. 

Talib claimed that the Wiper Secretary General boarded a morning flight to Lamu through Mombasa the same day she claimed to have held a party meeting.

The Secretary General, in an interview said that the case was in court and she would not comment on it. "The matter is in court, for now, let's wait until the court pronounces itself," said Ms Abdalla.

Wiper chairman Chirau Makwere told The Standard that Talib was the bonafide party nominee and his name had been gazetted by the IEBC.