CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

Aukot wins as court allows Punguza Mizigo debate

Petitioner who challenged debate of the bill was not in court to prosecute case

In Summary

• Aukot faults petitioners for challenging a bill that is still a draft.

• Petitioners claimed Bill was procured through deceit as signatures were not genuine.

Third Way Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot.
Third Way Alliance Party leader Ekuru Aukot.
Image: FILE

County assemblies can now go ahead to debate Punguza Mizigo Bill after a judge set aside an earlier order.

Judge John Mativo said he was compelled to dismiss the application for non- attendance. David Kamau Ngari who filed the case challenging debating of the Bill was not in court to prosecute it, the judge noted.

In his reply, Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot said those opposing Punguza Mizigo Bill ought to have waited for its enactment by the county assemblies then challenge it in court.

 

Aukot faulted Ngari and International Economic Law Centre  for contesting a bill that is still a draft.

“To challenge that which is still a draft bill is not justifiable since, in essence, they are challenging that which does not exist,” he said.

Aukot was responding to a petition filed by the two who managed to obtain orders last month stopping the 47 county assemblies from debating and approving a Bill fronted by Thirdway Alliance Kenya party, popularly known as Punguza Mizigo.

The two petitioners claimed the Bill was procured through deceit and illegalities since the signatures were not genuine. Further, they said the uniformity of the signatures raised the question of authenticity and reliability of the signed forms.

Ngari in his affidavit said the verification process of the signatures was impossible because the electoral body does not have a source of specimen signatures for comparison.

Aukot opposed granting of the orders saying they were unsustainable and would likely create an unprecedented constitutional crisis since they would have the effect of interfering with strict and mandatory constitutional timelines and constitutional bodies such as the county assemblies and Parliament.

Thirdway Alliance is the promoter of the Punguza Mizigo bill. Aukot said having received the much-needed nod from the electoral agency they embarked on a serious campaigns to collect signatures from Kenyans.

 

His affidavit explains how the promoters of the popular initiative engaged Kenyans directly in a dialogue process so as to give them an opportunity to collectively review past and current issues especially those that hinge on governance, representation, development, peace and prosperity.

The promoters presented constitutional amendment proposals to the National Assembly’s Constitution Implementation and Oversight committee chaired by Jeremiah Kioni on October 23, last year .

Aukot has also demonstrated that at various stages of collection of the signatures, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, they endeavored to periodically update the nation on the progress of the process through the media.

He said allegations by Ngari that the receiving of the draft bill and signatures were done silently or secretly are untrue and unfounded.