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Legal loophole keeps MP for Othaya Wambui in the House

othaya mp Wambui

Ms Mary Wambui Wednesday made a contribution on the floor of the National Assembly, two weeks after the Court of Appeal nullified her election as the MP for Othaya — thanks to a loophole in the law.

The Judiciary was blamed for giving her the window to continue with her job as MP despite losing her seat in a petition filed by Mr Peter King’ara.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said he was yet to receive communication from the Court of Appeal showing that Ms Wambui had lost the seat.

He said he could not declare the Othaya MP “a stranger” in the House when records do not show any outcome of the election that had been filed against her.

“I act through records and once I receive the communication, I will issue writs immediately,” he said.

In Nyeri, Mr King’ara said he would ask the Court of Appeal to hold the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in contempt for failing to effect the decision of the court. He said he would ask the court to jail the entire IEBC for failing to issue a certificate nullifying Ms Wambui’s election as directed by the court.

“Their lawyer was in court and they have not done that,” he said.

However, a message from IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan indicated that there was confusion over who was to issue the certificate.

According to him, the certificate ought to have been issued by the court under Section 86 of the Elections Act. This was not done. Instead, the court cited Section 84 of the Act, ordering the commission to issue the certificate. That section only applies where there is a recount and a winner declared. In the Othaya case, there was no recount and no winner was declared.

As the confusion persisted over who was to blame for the loophole, Ms Wambui was in Parliament, contribution to a special motion by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa on the strike by matatu operators, which was marred by the blocking of roads into the city.

Ms Wambui lamented that the strike and barricading of roads had touched her indirectly.

 “Even now, as I’m here, I’m having a case where somebody has collapsed on the way because he was travelling from Nyeri to be brought here to Kenyatta Hospital. He is now in a coma,” she said and asked county governments to be considerate and to consult the public before coming up with rates and fees that have been the cause of protests across the country.

“This Nairobi is the city for everybody who is coming as a visitor to this country and also the various industries,” she said. “We want to ask our governors even in Nairobi and other places. They must consider when they are adding their taxes, they must consider other people. The matatu people have got loans they are going to pay at the end of the month.”

She said it would be difficult for them to repay the loans if county taxes and other fees keep going up arbitrarily.

But in Nyeri, Mr King’ara said Ms Wambui had no respect for the law.

He said her decision to continue working as an MP was in contempt of court.

“She knows she is not the Othaya MP. Everybody knows and it is not an issue that they have not been served. Even if you hear of a court order you are supposed to obey it,” he said.

-Nation

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