APPELLATE COURT DISMISSES SPEAKER WETANG’ULAS BID TO STOP CASE ON MAJORITY PARTY IN PARLIAMENT.

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Speaker of National Assembly Moses Wetangula.

BY SAM ALFAN.

.Parliament’s bid to suspend the ongoing proceeding before High Court challenging a ruling by Speaker Moses Wetang’ula that Kenya Kwanza is the majority party in the House, has been dismissed.

The Speaker had urged the Court of Appeal to suspend the hearing pending the determination of the appeal.

But Court of Appeal Judges Gatembu Kairu, Lydia Achode and Ngenye Macharia dismissed the Speaker’s application.

“The Court is not satisfied that exceptional circumstances have been met that will render the appeal nugatory if stay of proceedings is not granted. The Application for stay of proceedings is dismissed,” ruled the judges while dismissing speaker application.

Judges reserved a full ruling and reasoning for December 6, 2024.

Wetang’ula had sought to suspend the proceedings after a bench of three judges dismissed an objection on whether the court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.

Justices Jairus Ngaah, John Chigiti and Lawrence Mugambi dismissed Wetang’ulas preliminary objection and directed the case to proceed to full hearing.

Azimio members through lawyer Kibe Mungai urged the appellate judges to dismiss the application adding that the speaker will not suffer any prejudice if amended petition is heard by the High Court and appeal heard alongside by the appellate court.

Lawyer Kibe told the court that parliament and speaker Wetang’ula ignored or downplayed the paramount right of a party who has approached court on a matter that is justiciable before it should not be unreasonably denied the right to have the said matter be determined expeditiously.

“This right cannot be derogated from on a whim but upon cogent grounds being raised. They are conspicuous by their absence. -20 14. It should not be lost to the Court that the Applicants have not alleged any real prejudice upon their appeal by way of being rendered nugatory, should the Amended Petition proceed to be heard and determined substantively,” lawyer Kibe submitted.

The Azimio La Umoja Coalition argued that their right under Article 159(2)(a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Constitution of Kenya as read with sections 1A and 1B of the Civil Procedure Act, Cap 21 to a just, efficient and timely disposal of the issues for determination in their Amended Petition would be unreasonably hamstrung for no proper reason save for the Applicants’ flimsy grounds aforementioned.

 “We wish to underscore that consideration of public interest should incline this Court to decline the invitation to order stay of proceedings of Petition before the High Court bearing in mind that the issues it raises strike at the core of the legality of constitutionality of the Kenya government as established pursuant to the Speakers Ruling of 6th October, 2024 to the effect that the Kenya Kawnza Coalition is the majority party despite the fact that it garnered 164 seats against Azimio Coalition’s 171 seats in the National Assembly,” they told the court. 

They added that this is an issue that must be determined without further delay considering that the constitutional petition was certified as urgent in June, 2023.

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