ABABU NAMWAMBA MAKES A DRAMATIC COME-BACK AS LPK PARTY LEADER.

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Labour Party of Kenya Ababu Namwamba during the relaunch of Labour Party of Kenya at a Nairobi hotel.

BY SAM ALFAN.

Budalang’i Member of Parliament Ababu Namwamba has made a dramatic come-back as the party leader of the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) after a petition challenging his legitimacy was withdrawn.

The party’ s National Chairperson, Dr Julia Ojiambo and the treasurer, Patrick Mutemi, formally disclosed to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal that the complainant, John Baraza Makokha, was not a member of the Labour Party.

“This is to certify that John Makokha is not a member of Labour Party” said the letter.

Lawyer Muga Apondi conceded that Baraza had no legal capacity to institute the suit, in which the tribunal gave orders on February 28 suspending leadership and membership of the party. He unsuccessfully applied to substitute the petitioner.

When the tribunal slapped the temporary injunction against Ababu, its Chairman Kyalo Mbobu and member Milly Odoyo had directed Baraza-who described himself as “a believer in the rule of law”-to file a supplementary affidavit explaining his relationship with LPK. He had claimed that Namwamba was misleading the public and infringed on the political rights of the party.

Dr Ojiambo had reacted in support of Ababu and accused political rivals of seeking to wreck the party. “For the avoidance of doubt, Labour Party has full confidence in Ababu. Any attempt to misuse the good name of our party and to besmirch the character of our leadership should be dealt with the contempt it deserves,” Dr Ojiambo had said.

In her protest letter to the Tribunal’s Registrar, Dr Ojiambo, said the party was governed by the rule of law and could not condone “fraudulent actions” by anyone bent on destabilizing it through unnecessary legal actions. “No case, suit or complaint of any kind can be filed in the name of Labour Party without a resolution of its National Executive Committee (NEC). The party’s NEC has not made any such resolution or even discussed or contemplated such cause of action,” she said.

Baraza had expressed his apprehension that Namwamba was likely to enter into political alignments and agreements with other political outfits under the pretence and misrepresentation that he was a member and official of the party. He said it was in the public domain that Namwamba was a member of the Orange democratic Movement (ODM).

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