Wambui to lose seat as Othaya MP
Ms Mary Wambui could lose her seat as Othaya MP next week after the electoral commission on Thursday said it would move to correct an anomaly that is keeping her in office irregularly.
IEBC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan on Thursday said he had asked the Court of Appeal to correct the technical error that has allowed the prominent businesswoman to remain as Othaya MP three weeks after her election was nullified.
Mr Hassan said he had spoken to the Court of Appeal president, Mr Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki, alerting him of the error so that it can be corrected as soon as possible.
He said the certificate declaring a vacancy in Othaya ought to have been issued by the court under Section 86 of the Elections Act. However, the court used Section 84 of the Act, which created the anomaly.
To rectify it, IEBC lawyers will return to the Court of Appeal under certificate of urgency and ask that the anomaly be rectified.
“The judgment has an error on the face of it and our lawyers will bring this to the attention of the judges as soon as they are able to so that this matter can be resolved,” Mr Hassan said. “We are ready to conduct a by-election and are even budgeting for it. If we get the correct documents on Monday we can announce a date on Tuesday.”
The IEBC chairman said that if the commission had acted on an erroneous judgment, it would no doubt have been challenged.
According to the law, the court that nullifies an election should issue a certificate to IEBC and the respective Speaker to inform them of the decision.
In the Othaya case, the Court of Appeal declared that Ms Wambui had not been validly elected but did not issue the certificate.
On Wednesday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said he was yet to receive communication based on the judgment and could not, therefore, declare the Othaya MP “a stranger” in the House.
Unlike her counterparts who ceased attending Senate and National Assembly sessions once they lost their seats through petitions, Ms Wambui has attended House proceeding at least three times since the February 13 ruling.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal agreed on a three-judge bench to resolve legal loopholes that have kept her in Parliament.
The three judges will meet in Nyeri on Monday to start the process which will see the Othaya seat declared vacant.
The decision came following statements by both IEBC and Mr Muturi that they were yet to receive any records showing that Ms Wambui had lost her seat.
“A three-judge Court of Appeal bench will sit in Nyeri to address issues arising from civil application Number 32/2013 (petition case against Ms Wambui and thereafter give directions on Monday,” said Ms Joanne Wambilianga, the deputy Registrar, Court of Appeal in Nyeri, in a statement.
This article was published by the DAILY NATION on March 7, 2014