ODM, TNA nominees cleared

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Posted  Wednesday, August 22  2012 at  23:30

ODM and TNA’s aspirants for the Ndhiwa and Kajiado North parliamentary by-elections on Wednesday presented their nominations to the electoral commission after a judge lifted orders that barred them.

Mr Justice David Majanja ruled that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear petitions rising from party nominations and that the petitioners should have filed their complaints with the parties’ dispute resolution organs.

The National Alliance (TNA) candidate for the Kajiado North parliamentary seat Moses ole Sakuda was cleared by the constituency’s returning officer Naisiae Tobiko and commissioner Abdullahi Sharawe at the Watakatifu Wote Centre in Ngong after spending hours with his supporters as his papers were scrutinised.

Mr Sakuda’s lawyer, Mr Alfred Ochieng Opiyo, dismissed a court order obtained by a Kajiado North politician, Mr Francis Persimei Gitau blocking his client from presenting his papers, saying it was directed by the party and not Mr Sakuda.

ODM’s candidate for the Ndhiwa constituency seat Augustino Neto presented his papers to electoral commission’s returning officer Morris Simiyu who cleared the way for him to contest the seat that fell vacant following a helicopter crash in which area MP Joshua Orwa Ojodeh died. The by-election is on September 17.

On Tuesday Lady Justice Mary Ang’awa stopped him and the party from presenting his nomination certificate to the electoral commission.

It followed an application by Mr John Odhiambo Odira, a candidate who lost in the ODM nominations, claiming that the nomination was unfair and unprocedural.

In lifting the orders on Wednesday, Justice Majanja did so following information that Mr Neto had submitted his nomination papers by the time the order was served on them.

“The court cannot entertain a dispute in the nature of a nomination where such process has not been invoked or failed in an alternative forum,” ruled Justice Majanja.

The judge added that the Kajiado North petition lacked merit, was incompetent and dismissed it.

He, however, declined to strike out the Ndhiwa petition and directed the petitioner to appear in court on Tuesday next week to argue why it should not be dismissed.

Mr Justice Alfred Mabeya last week restrained the TNA’s candidate for the Kajiado North parliamentary by-election, Mr Sakuda, from presenting his nomination papers until the petition filed by Mr Parsimei was heard and determined.

Mr Parsimei had claimed that the TNA nominations contravened the Political Parties Act and that the party’s conduct fell short of the constitutional and statutory requirement of a just and fair nomination process.

Stories by Paul Ogemba, Peter Leftie, Maurice Kaluoch and Ponciano Odongo

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