At least 11 MCAs in Uasin Gishu are set to lose their seats after a court in Eldoret revoked their nominations.
Chief Magistrate Dennis Mikoyan said his decision to reverse nominations of the UDA members was based on the fact that the ruling party and the electoral commission relied on a list that has been declared null and void by the political parties’ tribunal when settling on them.
The magistrate has consequently ordered the degazettement of the party list published on September 9.
“A declaration is hereby issued that the party list for UDA Uasin Gishu Member of County Assembly (Gender top up and marginalised) categories published by the IEBC vide Gazette notice No 10712 Vol CXXIV-No 186 dated September 9, 2022, is illegal, null, and void,” the court ordered.
The court noted that a valid party list had been submitted and published on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) website as well as in the Standard newspaper on July 27, last year, days before the General Election.
However, weeks later on August 24, a different list was published. Names of those who were in the first list had been omitted.
The court heard that even after the political parties’ tribunal nullified the new list following complaints by the affected party members, IEBC ignored them and went ahead to rely on the nullified list.
“Which list did IEBC use to gazette the members who have been sworn into the assembly? The court finds that IEBC and UDA ignored a decision that came from the political parties’ tribunal on which list to use and went ahead and used a list that had been declared null and void,” Mr Mikoyan said.
He added: “This means any Member of the County Assembly of Uasin Gishu who was gazette upon nomination based on the list that was published on August 24, 2022, was not validly elected by way of nomination. The only valid list is that of July 27, 2022. In conclusion, the county assembly of Uasin Gishu is only properly constituted as per the list that was gazetted on July 27. The gazetted MCAs were not validly elected by way of nomination.”
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The verdict follows a case two petitioners, Celestine Mutai and Robert Kiptanui, filed against UDA party and the IEBC, seeking nullification of the 11 nominations.
In their petitions, the two who had applied for nomination as MCAs told the court that although they qualified, their names were removed from the list, thereby contravening their rights to fair administrative action.
Kiptanui, who is living with a disability, argued that by omitting his name from the list of nominees, UDA failed to promote and ensure progressive implementation of the principle that promotes the representation of persons with disabilities. The county assembly has 14 nominated MCAs, of which one is from the Jubilee party.