The High Court has declared the Gatundu North parliamentary seat vacant.
In the ruling, Justice Weldon Korir ruled that the election of current Member of Parliament Anne Wanjiku Kibe was in violation of the law.
Kibe was still a member of the County Assembly (MCA) when she was nominated to vie as an MP under the Jubilee ticket.
He directed the Deputy Registrar to forward the ruling to the Speaker of the National Assembly for appropriate action and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct a fresh election.
The parties involved had wanted to know whether the MP was qualified to vie for the 2017 General Election when she was still an MCA with a monthly salary and all the other benefits and responsibilities accorded to that position.
Article 99 (2)(d) of the Constitution disqualifies a person from being elected as MP if s/he is an MCA.
In a petition filed by former MP Clement Kung’u Waibara, the court agreed with Waibara’s lawyer Jackson Awele that she ought to have resigned before the nomination date.
On June 25, the Court of Appeal ordered a fresh hearing of the petition challenging the MP’s qualifications that saw her contest for the Gatundu North seat three years ago.
According to the Appellate judges, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court was to only handle the interpretation of the Constitution in the petition and not validity of the MP’s election.
“It, therefore, follows that the question whether a seat has become vacant falls squarely within the mandate of the High Court and this question with respect to the MP of Gatundu North Constituency is yet to be determined by a competent court,” the ruling read.
A report by The Standard indicated that the verdict was issued after it was found that the High Court wrongly dismissed the matter by handling it as an election petition.
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