Party National Unity lawyer Steve Mogaka with party chairman John Kamama talking to journalist outside Milimani law courts after the political parties tribunal declared the registrar of political parties to deregister Party National Unity unconstitutional.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Political Parties Tribunal has declared unconstitutional the decision to deregister the former President Mwai Kibaki’s Party National Unity.
The tribunal found that the decision by the Registrar of Political parties was arrived at without giving the aggrieved party an opportunity to defend itself.
Chairman Kyalo Mbobu, said that the registrar erred in law by communicating to the attorney general to wind up PNU, without first giving the political party due notice of deregistration
The Party’s lawyer Steve Mogaka told the tribunal that the registrar ought to have given PNU an opportunity to exhaust its right to appeal.
Lawyer Mogaka further told the tribunal during the hearing that the decision by the registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndungu has set on motion the process of winding and dissolution of the Party
He submitted to that the registrar of political parties has never served any document to show non compliance as claimed in the gazette notice announcing deregistration.
The alleged non compliance notice for failure to make returns as required by law has never been communicated to PNU offices, the lawyer said
Mr Mogaka argued that if any correspondents from the office of the registrar of political parties have been sent to PNU none has reached or they have been using wrong address.
He submitted the winding up and dissolution if affected will amount to be unlawful exercise.
Mr Kyalo and his members Mr Chacha Odera, James Atema and Rve Jessie Muturia ordered the registrar to pay cost of the suit.
Former President Mwai Kibaki’s Party moved to Court to block its deregistration arguing that the Registrar of Political Parties did not accord it an audience prior to its closure.
Lawyer Steve Mogaka filed a case on behalf of the party, its secretary general John Okemwa Anunda and John Kamama Mbugua, challenging the gazette notice published by Lucy Ndung’u which brought to an end the seven year existence of the party.
PNU wanted the High Court to quash the gazette notice issued by Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u.
Political parties’ tribunal issued temporary orders suspending the registrars’ gazette notice that’s alleged to deregister the former president Party.
PNU’s closure followed its failure to submit its financial accounts to the Auditor General within three months after the close of the financial year for an audit, in contradiction of section 31 (2) of the Political Parties Act.
The party has said in its suit filings that the Registrar had not given it a chance to explain why the accounts had not been submitted to the Auditor General.
Correspondence from the Registrar, PNU claims, had been sent to two strangers, K.K Ndumino and Isaac Rutere, who allegedly acted on behalf of the party without its knowledge.
Mr Ndumino has allegedly responded to the registrar’s letters while Mr Rutere has been accused of receiving the said letters on behalf of the party.
“The Registrar has been misrouting its correspondence to PNU with the result that the party has been kept unaware of intended action by the Registrar. Besides Mr Ndumino, Mr Rutere has been collecting mail from the Registrar and is equally a stranger to PNU,” said Mr Mogaka.
PNU has said that the documents needed went missing under the reign of the old officials led by Gideon Konchellah.
After they allegedly locked the party’s offices, the new officials had to seek a break in order to access the required documents, a move that was in vain.
“PNU had to obtain a break in order in an endeavor to access its records to file the returns. Upon breaking into PNU’s offices, the documents found were not useful for filing the required returns,” said John Anunda, the party’s secretary general.
Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi certified the matter urgent, but declined to grant PNU any orders until the matter is heard before her tomorrow. PNU has enjoined Attorney General Githu Muigai in the suit.
PNU has undergone difficulty since former chairman George Saitoti died in 2012.
Its financial difficulties rose to the fore after its disqualification from the political parties’ funding owing to an agreement it signed with The National Alliance (TNA) in the run up to last year’s General Election in which it was not to field any individual candidates in the polls.
Majority of its members also crossed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA.
The tribunal decision comes on a time when the United Republican Party (URP) and The National Alliance (TNA) party has merged to form the Jubilee Alliance Party of which the first candidate will vie for the Kajiado Central constituency seat.
TNA secretary general Onyango Oloo and URP SG Fred Muteti said during a press briefing that they have formalized registration of the new vehicle for future Jubilee coalition candidates.
A statement by Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen posted on his Twitter account said that the merger is a commitment of unifying the country as part of the Jubilee vision for the country.
“We have decided to form one outfit Jubilee Alliance Party which is a show of our commitment to national unity and consolidation of our democratic gains. It will be good going forward to have two or three national parties like many progressive democracies. I hope our competitors will follow suit,” Murkomen said.
Jubilee leaders have on several occasions hinted at plans to dissolve their political parties and form one outfit ahead of the 2017 polls.