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Kibe wasn’t eligible to run, Waibara claims


By ERIC WAINAINA
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A former MP has filed a petition seeking to have the Gatundu North parliamentary seat declared vacant on claims that the lawmaker, Wanjiku wa Kibe, was cleared unprocedurally.

The argument is that Ms Kibe was ineligible to vie since, at the time, she was still serving as an MCA.

The case filed on Monday by Mr Clement Waibara at the Kiambu High Court is likely to be of interest to at least 10 MPs who were elected to the National Assembly having served as MCAs between 2013 and 2017.

Mr Waibara argues that Jubilee Party and the IEBC shouldn’t have cleared Ms Kibe to run since she was still serving as a nominated MCA, “a grave violation of the Constitution.”

The petitioner, who served as the area MP between 2007 and 2012, has anchored his petition on Article 99 of the Constitution which highlights grounds for qualifications and disqualifications for election as MP.

According to Article 99 (2) (d) of the Constitution, a person is disqualified from being elected MP if the person “is a member of a county assembly”.

Mr Waibara claims that Ms Kibe was still holding the position of MCA as at the date of the election, since she received her salary and benefits up to August 8, 2017, and therefore “only ceased being a member from the said date.”

Ms Kibe, a former broadcaster, was nominated by the defunct TNA party to serve as an MCA for a period of five years, from July 17, 2013.

However, Mr Waibara argues that before her term was over, Ms Kibe was cleared to run and won.

“On March 3 2017, during and/or before the expiry of her term as MCA — Kiambu County and/or while serving in the said capacity with all the benefits and responsibilities attendant thereto, Hon. Kibe tendered her application to the Jubilee Party for nomination to contest the 2017 General Election as the said party’s candidate for election as Member of the National Assembly, Gatundu North Constituency (sic),” reads the petition.

Parliamentarians who could be affected by the outcome of the petition, if heard and determined, include Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala (former Mahiakalo MCA), Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika (served as Nakuru Speaker), Kilifi Woman Rep Gertrude Mbeyu (former Kibarani MCA), Mombasa Woman Rep Asha Mohamed and Maragwa MP Mary Waithira (former nominated MCA).

Others are Laikipia Woman Rep Cate Waruguru, who was a nominated MCA and former Laikipia Speaker Patrick Mariru, who is the Laikipia West MP.

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