Judge Makes Exception as Raila's Team Proves Unreachable in Azimio Case

  • Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party council members addressing the media led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at KICC on April 21, 2022.
    Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party council members addressing the media led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at KICC on April 21, 2022.
    File
  • A High Court sitting in Mombasa has made an exemption to a petition filed against  Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party.

    Two voters challenging the registration of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party were on Wednesday, May 25, instructed by Justice John Mativo to serve the parties involved through an advertisement in local dailies.

    Justice Mativo told the petitioners, Kelvin Omondi and Fatuma Saidi that they have three days to run the advert in newspapers that have wide circulation.

    Judge John Mativo during a previous court session
    Judge John Mativo during a previous court session
    FILE

    The petitioners went to court challenging the registration of the party fronting ODM leader Raila Odinga as its presidential candidate,  arguing that the Deed Agreement (coalition agreement) establishing the party is null and void.

    According to Saidi and Omondi, the agreement was documented in violation of the Political Parties Act (PPA) and the essential conditions for coalition agreements as stipulated in the law.

    Political parties in the coalition agreement have been joined in the petition as ordered by the court and some were yet to be served with suit documents when the case was mentioned on Wednesday.

    In documents filed in court, the petitioners stated that Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party is not recognized in law hence making the party unconstitutional since its registration failed to meet the statutory and constitutional threshold for registration of a political party.

    “The Deed Agreement is a nullity and void for violation of any law and norm under the Political Parties Act, nothing comes out of it,” the petition read.

    Omondi and Saidi urged the court to compel the Azimio leadership to table in court the coalition party’s deed of agreement.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka during the Azimio La Umoja Council meeting at KICC on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka during the Azimio La Umoja Council meeting at KICC on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
    Courtesy

    At the heart of the dispute are clauses in the agreement barring constituent parties from exiting the coalition party 6 months before the general election or three months after the general election.

    According to Omondi and Saidi, this was a violation of the constituent parties’ freedoms of association and political rights provided for in Articles 36 and 38 of the Constitution.