The Court of Appeal has dealt a major blow to Kenya’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, revoking the nominations of nine members of the county assembly (MCAs) in Uasin Gishu. This dramatic ruling, delivered by Justice Reuben Nyakundi, throws the UDA’s grip on the county assembly into chaos and raises questions about the party’s nomination process.
“Having considered the rival arguments, I find that the nomination of the nine individuals by the UDA party was irregular and illegal,” declared Justice Nyakundi. “Their nominations are hereby revoked, and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is ordered to degazette their names within 14 days.”
The decision stems from a legal challenge filed by two Uasin Gishu residents, Celestine Mutai and Robert Kiptanui, who argued that the UDA party had disregarded legal procedures during the nomination process for the affected MCAs. Specifically, the petitioners alleged that some individuals were nominated despite not appearing on the original party list, while others were listed even though they did not meet the required qualifications.
Justice Nyakundi’s ruling upheld these claims, finding merit in the petitioners’ arguments. This verdict marks the third time a court has ruled against the UDA’s nominations in Uasin Gishu, raising concerns about potential systemic flaws within the party’s selection process.
The ousted MCAs, who were nominated under the special category and the gender top-up list, now face an uncertain future. Their removal throws the county assembly’s balance of power into disarray, potentially impacting legislative processes and political dynamics.
Meanwhile, the ruling has been met with mixed reactions. UDA officials expressed disappointment and vowed to appeal the decision. However, supporters of the petitioners welcomed the news, applauding the court’s decision to uphold transparency and due process.
This ongoing saga surrounding the UDA nominations in Uasin Gishu serves as a stark reminder of the importance of legal compliance and transparency in election processes. It also underscores the critical role of the judiciary in safeguarding the rule of law and ensuring that political parties operate within the boundaries of the Constitution.
The coming weeks will likely see further developments, with the possibility of appeals and potential repercussions for the UDA party’s standing in Uasin Gishu. One thing is certain: the court’s decision has shaken the county’s political landscape, leaving behind a trail of uncertainty and raising questions about the future of the UDA’s control of the county assembly.