In Summary

• The tribunal erred by purporting to citing Mumma for contempt of the Court Orders dated May 14, 2022, when the orders had been issued against John Mbadi and not her.

• ODM accuses the tribunal of showing partisanship and purporting to single out Ndonji for punishment of the alleged contempt.

Kisumu Senate aspirant Tom Ojienda with Kisumu Central ODM party officials led by chairman Seth Ochieng alias Adui address the press at the party office.
UMOJA II MCA TICKET: Kisumu Senate aspirant Tom Ojienda with Kisumu Central ODM party officials led by chairman Seth Ochieng alias Adui address the press at the party office.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

The High Court has stopped contempt proceedings against ODM's National Elections Board chair Catherine Mumma.

The contempt was for disobeying orders to recognise Umoja II MCA Joseph Ndonji as the party's nominee for the coming election.

Justice Joseph Sergon issued the orders on Thursday after Mumma  appealed the decision by the tribunal on June 14, which found her in contempt.

"That there be a temporary order for stay of execution of the ruling of the tribunal delivered on June 14 to last until June 30," the judge said. 

Sergon also ordered a stay of the proceedings scheduled for Thursday until June 30.

In a ruling delivered on June 14, the tribunal found Mumma in contempt of the orders issued on May 31, which directed the party to issue a nomination certificate of Umoja II MCA to incumbent Ndonji. 

The tribunal had also nullified the certificate issued to former Umoiner tout Shadrack Machanje. 

Mumma was expected to appear before the tribunal on Thursday to show cause why she should not be jailed for six years. 

Mumma through lawyer Tom Ojienda appealed the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal ruling, stating it erred by failing to appreciate it was only the IEBC that had jurisdiction to entertain the complaint regarding the fresh nomination exercise held on May 31.

Ojienda said the tribunal erred by assuming jurisdiction to hear and determine the application dated June 6, 2022.

He said it failed to appreciate that it was a fresh nomination dispute that ought to have been subjected to the ODM’s internal dispute resolution mechanisms in the first instance, in violation of Section 40(2) of the Political Parties Act.

"The tribunal erred by assuming jurisdiction to hear and determine the application when ODM Party had already forwarded the name of Machanje to IEBC.

"As such any dispute revolving around the said nomination was a preserve of the IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee as per Article 88 (4)(e) of the Constitution and Section 74(1) of the Elections Act," Ojienda said.

He faulted the tribunal for purporting to determine that it had concurrent jurisdiction with the IEBC.

Ojienda said in so doing usurped the exclusive jurisdiction conferred upon the commission to determine nomination disputes after names are submitted to it in violation of Article 88 (4)(e) of the Constitution and Section 74(1) of the Elections Act.

The tribunal erred by purporting to citing Mumma for contempt of the Court Orders dated May 14, 2022, when the orders had been issued against John Mbadi and not her.

By purporting to cite Mumma for contempt of the Court Orders, Ojienda said the alleged contempt had already been purged through the meeting that was convened on May 31, 2022 and as such there was no contempt.

ODM accuses the tribunal of showing partisanship and purporting to single out Ndonji for punishment of the alleged contempt.

It says the impugned decision was a decision of the ODM Central Committee and not of Ndonji as an individual in violation of Article 27 of the Constitution.

The nomination dispute is centered around Machanje, who won the primaries.

Ndonji has been on the war path with the party after ODM handed over the nomination to the tout.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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