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Uasin Gishu County Assembly in limbo after court ruling suspends operations

October 6th, 2023 3 min read

An Eldoret High court ruling that issued a temporary injunction suspending the assembly sittings is likely to hamper operations and delivery of services to the residents of Uasin Gishu County even as the county assembly moves to seek legal redress into the matter.

The suspension followed a petition filed by an Eldoret human rights activist Kimutai Kirui who challenged the legality of the assembly after that petitioner claimed that the assembly did not meet gender rule as required by the Constitution 2010.

The application Mr Kirui from Centre Against Torture was filed under a certificate of urgency before Justice Wananda Anuro on October 3.

While ruling on the application, Justice Anuro noted that the application raised serious issues hence it deserves serious attention in the Spirit of safeguarding the Constitution.

“An order is hereby issued suspending all official seatings/meetings and all deliberations of the Uasin Gishu County Assembly pending hearing and determination of this application, “ordered Justice Anuro.

The ruling is likely to hurt operations and delivery of services to the residents of Uasin Gishu County even as the county assembly moves to seek legal redress into the matter.

Uasin Gishu county speaker Philip Muigei said that a number of crucial bills and policies had been lined up in the house for deliberations. Already, the assembly has suspended its sittings on Wednesday in compliance with the ruling.

He disclosed that among the critical bills are the Finance Bill, Health Bill, and other crucial bills that were lined up for deliberation before the House.

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“We have the Finance bill that requires that we deliberate and pass. We are also supposed to hold public participation on October 13 and pass by October 30. We also have health bills and other subsequent bills and policies before the house,” said Mr Muigei.

However, Mr Muigei disclosed that they were engaging their lawyers for submission to challenge the court ruling that suspended assembly sittings over the gender rule.

“We are engaging our lawyers to challenge this ruling and we hope to get a solution to the matter. The County Government Act 2012 is clear on the issue of quorum that it may only arise after general elections. We don’t know what the judge based his ruling on,” said the county speaker.

Moses Kibenei, the Kapseret –Simat MCA said that the supplementary budget was supposed to be tabled before it would impact on service delivery but promised the residents that they would provide direction.

“I want to assure the residents that we will continue with our work of representation, oversight, and legislation. we are optimistic that this matter will be resolved to ensure smooth operations,” stated Mr Kibenei.

Mr Kibenei noted that the lack of quorum in the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as currently constituted may not have the digression to deliberate into the matter.

This is a second blow to the assembly in a span of one month after a high court upheld the revocation of nine nominated MCAs from UDA on what the court termed as an irregular nomination.

The application by Mr Kirui from Centre Against Torture was filed under a certificate of urgency before Justice Anuro on October 3.

The court decision followed by Mr Kirui’s application was a result of an earlier court decision that nullified the nomination of nine nominated MCA from the ruling party UDA which drastically reduced the number of women members of the assembly hence lacking a third gender rule.

Mr Kimutai has insisted due to the nullification of nominated MCAs the assembly is not fully and duly constituted as required under the constitution.

According to Mr Kirui the county assembly falls short of the required membership and it has been operating illegally.

Mr Kirui has insisted that the assembly has no legal right to carry out legislation activities until it is properly constituted.

A month ago the affected nine MCAs moved to the Supreme Court challenging their revocation after the high court and Court of Appeal upheld the revocation. The matter is pending at the Supreme Court.

The matter of suspension of the assembly will be mentioned on October 18 for further directions.