Jubilee lawyer locked out of Azimio-Kenya Kwanza supremacy battle case

 

When Azimio MPs walked out of Parliament as Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndungu presented the 2023/24 budget highlights. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The High Court has locked out a lawyer of the Kanini Kega Jubilee Party faction from participating in a case filed for determination on whether Azimio or Kenya Kwanza is the majority in Parliament.

Justices Jairus Ngaah, Lawrence Mugambi and John Chigiti instead allowed lawyer Ndegwa Njiru, representing the Jeremiah Kioni and David Mirathe Jubilee faction to continue as the representative of the party.

They found that there were orders reinstating Kioni and Murathe as Jubilee leaders.

This came as National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula, Kenya Kwanza, United Democratic Alliance (UDA), and Attorney General asked the court to strike out of the case filed by lawyer Kibe Mungai.

Mungai is representing Lempaa Suyianka, Kenneth Njagi, Meshack Suba, Teddy Muturi, Amos Wanjala, Stephen Kihonge, Sophie Dola, Winnie Thuo, Victor Ng’ang’a, Simon Lkoma, Caroline Mogaka and Francis Kenya.  

Senior lawyer Fred Ngatia argued that Wetang’ula was erroneously joined in the case. He said that the case revolved political parties, hence should have been filed before the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT).

Ngatia also observed that other parties such as Kenya Revenue Authority were named despite having nothing to do with the political duel.

He argued that the issues raised also touched on Finance Act, 2023, which will be ruled today.

“The case cannot be severed. It is so interwoven and the only remedy is to strike out the petition. Let them go back to the drawing board, be guided by law and pursue the right person who they perceived to be on the wrong,” argued Ngatia.

Lawyer Judy Guserwa, acting for Wetang'ula, argued that the Speaker of the National Assembly cannot be pursued in person, both in a civil or criminal court.

Speaker Moses Wetangula rules Kenya Kwanza has majority in National Assembly

Lawyer Anold Oginga differed, arguing that the Speaker can be sued in person before any court. Oginga argued that Parliament and the two Speakers can be oversighted by courts.

He accused Wetang'ula, Kenya Kwanza and AG of selectively reading the case. Oginga argued that PPDT has no powers over the speaker.

“This is the right forum to decide this case owing to the policentricity of this case,” he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Njiru, for Jubilee, submitted that the issue was about parliamentary dictatorship.

"Has Parliament developed a thick skin that it cannot be penetrated? What is this that Parliament is immune from? If it is an action about legislation, then immunity can be argued as a shield,” he said.

Lawyer Mungai told the court the case was filed by Kenyans who are not part of political parties. He argued that the issue of who is the majority party was settled on the ballot.

Kibe asserted that Wetang’ula was wrong to give Kenya Kwanza the majority mantle.

"When you go through all the submissions, you will not be told that all the reliefs are can only be given by this court,” he argued.

He noted that Azimio had 172 seats while Kenya Kwanza had 160. “The law does not allow party hopping,” he said.

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