Gatundu North Parliamentary Seat Declared Vacant

Gatundu North parliamentary seat was on Wednesday declared vacant over violation of election laws. Justice Weldon Korir ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct fresh elections.

“I declare that the seat of the MP Hon Anne Wanjiku has become vacant,” Korir ruled.

Judge Weldon Korir on Wednesday found that the current Member of Parliament Anne Wanjiku Kibe was not eligible to vie for the seat as she was still a member of the County Assembly (MCA) when she was nominated to vie as an MP under the Jubilee ticket.

The parties involved had wanted to know whether the MP was qualified to vie for the 2017 General Election when she was still an MCA with a monthly salary and all the other benefits and responsibilities accorded to that position.

Article 99 (2)(d) of the Constitution disqualifies a person from being elected as MP if s/he is an MCA.

In a petition filed by former MP Clement Kung’u Waibara, the court agreed with Waibara’s lawyer Jackson Awele that she ought to have resigned before the nomination date.

In June, the Court of Appeal ordered a fresh hearing of a petition challenging her qualifications to contest for the seat in 2017.

According to the Appellate judges, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court was to only handle the interpretation of the Constitution in the petition and not validity of the MP’s election.

“It, therefore, follows that the question whether a seat has become vacant falls squarely within the mandate of the High Court and this question with respect to the MP of Gatundu North Constituency is yet to be determined by a competent court,” the judges ruled.

A report by The Standard said the ruling was issued after it was found that the High Court erroneously dismissed the matter by handling it as an election petition.

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