BY PRISCILLA NYOKABI
Justice Daniel Musinga\’s ruling on the Kamukunji by-election is highly welcomed as he granted an order of injunction restraining the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and the returning officer for Kamukunji Constituency from conducting the parliamentary by-election which was scheduled for May 23.
His judgement was highly criticised by many who say he issued it at the eleventh hour when the constituency was in dire need of a new change of governance that will uplift the constituency from rags to riches due to its high potential for development.
His 32-page ruling is one among the many that Justice Musinga has made basing on the new constitution. Kituo Cha Sheria has fully participated in the Kamukunji by-election by organising a public forum for the aspirants to dialogue with the constituents.
After keenly reading and analysing other rulings delivered by Justice Musinga since the new Constitution was promulgated on August 27, I find that he has been consistent in upholding the spirit and letter of the New Constitution especially guided by the interpretation role of the court in Article 258 and the National Values.
The Kamukunji ruling is not an isolated case but part of a wider scheme to create jurisprudence and precedents in the first year of the New Constitution.
Justice Musinga\’s judgement was in favour of Paul Waweru Mwangi who brought the petition against the respondent (The Interim Independent Electoral Commission and Masindet Joseph Leboo, The Returning Officer Kamukunji Constituency) on a number of grounds including that the nomination of candidates was conducted in violation of his rights to be a candidate as enshrined under Article 38(3) of the Constitution.
Justice Musinga is well known for upholding the constitution and he exercises his duties for the Kenyan people especially those denied justice.
A related case that he presided over was Petition 9 of 2011 which involved a Member of Parliament Eugene Wamalwa who had been denied permission to hold a public rally.
Justice Musinga noted that the court is enjoined to interpret the Constitution in a manner that promotes its purpose, values and principles without fear, favour, affection or ill will.
His judgements and rulings are highly welcomed as it shows that everyone is equal before the law regardless of his race, ethnic back ground, and social statues everyone has a right to participate in political activities.
This incident has put to light the injustice that is cropping in the electoral processes that impede the implementation of the new constitution to ensure justice is exercised to all.
The IIEC should recruit better returning officers and conduct elections as required by the Constitution and other laws.
(Ms Nyokabi is the Executive Director Kituo Cha Sheria)