Appeal's Court revokes nomination of 9 UDA MCAs

Nine UDA Nominated Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) have been dealt a blow for a third time in a row after the Court of Appeal revoked their nomination to the Uasin Gishu county assembly.

Court of Appeal Judge Reuben Nyakundi upheld revocation of the MCAs nomination by High Court Judge Stephen Riech and Chief Magistrate Dennis Mikoyan.

The court ruled that the nine persons cease to hold office immediately.

The appellate court ordered the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to degazette the names of the nine MCAs within 14 days.

The Nominated MCAs who were sent home are James Wachira, Belinda Chebichi, David Waiganjo, Roda Kemboi, Nancy Kiboi, Hassan Chepkoech, Sahra Abdi, Magrinah Chebet and Juliet Chelimo.

“The names of the nine affected persons as Members of the Uasin Gishu County Assembly under the special category and the gender top up list for the UDA party are deleted,” Justice Nyakundi ruled.

The court’s order means that among the nominated MCAs who lost their jobs, six had been irregularly shortlisted in the gender top up list and three in the special category.

The appellate court also directed IEBC to gazette, under the gender top up list, the names of Caroline Jeptanui, Cherono Caroline, Tirop Everline, Serem Naomi, Ngetich Pamela, Sharon Jewel Kogo, Burgei Veronica, Celestine Mutai and Rebecca Jerop.

Others who are set to be gazetted under the special category are Kiplagat Gerald, Wambui Tabitha, Kering Robert Kiptanui and Regina Chumba.

The gazettement of the approved list should be done within the same period, the court ruled yesterday.

Justice Nyakundi directed that upon gazettement of the genuine list of MCAs, the Uasin Gishu County Assembly should move with speed and have them sworn in the next sitting.
The court also advised that should the IEBC fail to gazette the approved names of the nominated MCAs within the 14-day period, the Speaker of the County Assembly should then declare the positions of the Nominated MCAs vacant.
“Upon declaring the positions vacant in terms of the order above, the Speaker of the County Assembly of Uasin Gishu shall in the immediate next sitting after the lapse of 14 days proceed to swear the applicants into office as duly nominated members of the County Assembly of Uasin Gishu,” the judge ruled.
The court further directed that the persons whose names have been revoked will no longer be accorded the status, rights, privileges and any other entitlement as members of Uasin Gishu County Assembly.

In September last year, the nine leaders moved to the Court of Appeal seeking stay orders of Justice Reich's ruling pending determination of the matter.

They argued that the High Court erred in upholding the Chief magistrate court's decision which lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine the pre-election dispute.

Justice Riech dismissed the petition by the MCAs and upheld the lower court’s March 15, 2023 ruling that nullified the nominations terming them null and void.

While delivering the judgement, Justice Riech agreed with Chief Magistrate Mikoyan’s decision stating that UDA as well as IEBC, while nominating the MCAs, relied on a list which had been rejected by the political party’s tribunal.

“The only genuine list of the nominated MCAs was the one dated July 27, 2022 and not the one filed by the UDA party on August 24, 2022,” the Court stated.

Justice Riech said that he did not find any error in the ruling made by the Chief Magistrate.

He found that UDA did not have powers to revise, amend or review the party list once it was closed on July 27, 2022.

The court had also ordered the degazettement of the party list which was gazetted on September 9, 2022.

Chief Magistrate Mikoyan found that a valid party list had been submitted and published on the IEBC website as well as in The Standard on July 27, days before the General Election.

However, weeks later, a revised list was published omitting the names of most nominees.

The court was told that even after the political parties’ tribunal nullified the new list following complaints by the affected party members, the IEBC ignored the same and went ahead to rely on the nullified list.

“Any Member of the County Assembly of Uasin Gishu who was gazetted upon nomination based on the list that was published on August 24, 2022 was not validly elected by way of nomination. The County Assembly of Uasin Gishu is only properly constituted as per the list that was gazetted on July 27,” the court ruled.

Two petitioners Celestine Mutai and Robert Kiptanui had filed the election petition against the UDA party and the IEBC.

They told the court that although they had qualified to be declared nominated MCAs, their names had been removed, contravening their rights to fair administrative action.

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