Political Parties Dispute Tribunal to decide on UDF party row

NAIROBI, KENYA: UDF party leader Musalia Mudavadi, his deputy Jeremiah Kioni lost the first battle when the tribunal handling the party’s squabbles dismissed their objection.

The Political Parties Dispute Resolution Tribunal ruled that it had jurisdiction to hear the petition against party officials for their decision to kick out some of their elected members.

In a ruling made dismissing the objection by Mudavadi, Kioni and Kassim Sawa, the four-member tribunal said that it had the authority to hear and determine cases emanating from the decision of the party.

The tribunal chaired by Kyalo Mbobu also ordered that status quo should be maintained until the case is heard and determined.

According to the tribunal, the registrar of political parties Lucy Ndung’u had indicated that the status of the political party’s officials had not been changed. This means that nominated MP Mr Hassan Osman with other party executive committee officials are still in office until the case is determined.

“We have the jurisdiction to listen to the case by the plaintiff,” the tribunal ruled.

The tribunal directed that Mudavadi, Kassim and Kioni should also make a formal application to have its ruling stayed, noting that the move to remove nominated MP Osman and  other party executive committee officials, was the basis of the case.

The case was filed under certificate of urgency by the acting chairman Wycliffe Oyondi Okeo, Caroline Muthoni Boy (secretary) and Pauline Achieng (Woman Rep).

Through lawyer Hassan Lakicha, the party officials have sued Mudavadi, deputy party leader Jeremiah Kioni, deputy secretary general Petronilla Were and the party’s national organising secretary Kassim Sawa.

The officials have accused the party officials of failing to follow the laid down regulations in the removal of the party’s chairman and executive committee members. They urged the tribunal to issue an order to restrain the Registrar of Political Parties from acting and effecting the purported suspension, pending the hearing of the dispute.

The tribunal will convene on Tuesday next week to listen to an application made Osman who wants the national delegates meeting intended to be held on Friday next week be stopped. This meeting according to him is meant to have new official to replace the axed members elected.

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