VICTORY

Court rules that MCAs don’t have to resign to vie for MP seats

In Summary

• Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibeh had appealed the decision by the High Court that nullified her election because she never resigned from her MCA position before the elections.

• Clement Waibara had sued Kibeh arguing that she was not validly declared as the MPs.

Milimani law courts.
Milimani law courts.
Image: FILE

Court rules MCAs don’t have to resign to vie for MP seat

Big win for MCAs who want to vie for the MP position in the August general elections as court rules they don’t have to resign six months to elections.

This is after the Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that MCAs, just like MPs have to serve until they finish their five-year term.

In the case, Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibeh had appealed the decision by the High Court that nullified her election because she never resigned from her MCA position before the elections.

Clement Waibara had sued Kibeh arguing that she was not validly declared as the MP.

Justices Hannah Okwengu, Kathurima M’inoti, and K. Laibuta set aside the ruling of the high court that nullified Kibeh’s election saying she was validly elected.

“We come to the conclusion that at the time of the elections on August 8 2017, Hon Kibeh was not a member of the County Assembly as her term had ended with the term of the County Assembly” the court ruled.

The court ruled that, therefore, the disqualification in article 99 (2) that deals with disqualification of state officers and MCAS for election as MPs that would have been applicable to Kibeh if she was still a member of county assembly was no longer applicable to her.

The court also noted that the reason that the President, Deputy President, MP, Governor, and MCAs are excluded from resigning six months before elections is to avoid there being a vacuum in their offices that they were elected into.

The judges held that, unlike other public officers who are expected to resign from their public office six months before the date of elections, the officers above including MCAs do not have to resign before the date of elections and are not disqualified from contesting for a political position by virtue of these positions.

“They all hold positions of a political nature by virtue of their election or nominations and are elected for a five-year term that ordinarily terminates at the next general elections,” the judges said.

They further said if these state officers are to resign six months before the general elections their term would be reduced to four and a half years.

It was the courts’ view that there would be a vacuum as constituencies they represent would be left without a representative for six months as no by elections can be held within this period.

“Members of the county assembly do not have to resign because they automatically cease to hold the position by election date,” the court ruled.