Aukot Wins Big in Court on Punguza Mizigo Debate

  • The Human Rights and Constitutional Division of the High Court in Nairobi, on Tuesday, lifted an order barring county assemblies from debating lawyer Ekuru Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo Bill.

    Justice John Mativo lifted the restraining order issued on July 25, after a petitioner, Timothy Odhiambo, moved to court to stop the consideration of the Bill by the 47 county assemblies.

    The petitioner had objected the Bill’s discussion after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) forwarded it to the devolved legislative assemblies.

    He had argued that IEBC failed to authenticate signatures of voters supporting Aukot's Draft Constitution Amendment Bill 

    Odhiambo accused the IEBC of contravening Article 257 of the Constitution of Kenya, by failing to authenticate the signatures of the 1,222,541 registered voters who supported the initiative.

    The admitted failure to authenticate the signatures of the purported supporters of the initiative amounts to a fundamental breach of the constitution,” Odhiambo stated.

    There is a real and imminent risk that IEBC may submit an unlawful Bill to the county assemblies within the next three months for consideration,” the petitioner added.

    He also faulted the Thirdway Alliance Party for publishing the list of individuals who support the Bill on its website without notifying members of the public.

    Among the proposals in the Bill, is one which seeks to reduce the current presidential term of a maximum of two-five year terms to a one-off seven-year term.