Gachoka blames Narc over nomination debacle

Journalist Tony Gachoka. [John Muchucha, Standard]

Journalist Tony Gachoka on Tuesday told the court that he ought to have received an equal chance for nomination as a person with a disability but he was left out without any convincing explanation.

Mr Gachoka’s lawyer Cecil Miller in his submissions argued that his client hoped that being a member of the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc), and under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition as a person living with disability, his name ought to have been among those whom the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) listed for nomination.

According to Mr Miller, Azimio should have considered his client and forwarded his name just as they did to Wafula Wamunyiyi who, he claimed, vied under the umbrella body despite being a member of the constituent DAP-Kenya Party.

“Azimio under the Act is a corporate of affiliate parties and as such, the petitioner is still of Azimio irrespective of whether he is in ODM or not. He is therefore in this court seeking rectification of a violation of a right. The coalition should have taken him as he never left the coalition as in the case of Wamunyinyi,” argued Miller.

Miller asserted that Gachoka resigned from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and applied to join Narc-Kenya. According to him, the Registrar of Political Parties then directed Narc to admit him as a member.

Gachoka lamented that it was Narc-Kenya which bungled his chance to get a nomination ticket.

But the IEBC in its reply before High Court judge Eric Ogola argued that following Gachoka’s resignation from ODM, it was unclear which party he was in. 

The IEBC also argued that even if Gachoka was in Narc-Kenya, the party had no MPs and therefore did not meet the minimum threshold of 24 MPs that grants a party a right to have nominated members in Parliament.

According to the commission, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has five nomination slots owing to its numbers while ODM got three members. The court heard that Jubilee and Amani National Congress got one slot each.

Gachoka said that after he joined Narc, party leader Charity Ngilu had assured him that he would be top on the list for nomination to represent people living with disabilities in Parliament. He argued that other affiliate parties of Azimio have nominated candidates without considering people living with disabilities.

The judge will deliver his verdict on February 9.