Bid to stop promulgation of new Kenya law

August 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – A poll agent in the just concluded referendum has now moved to the High Court seeking to block the promulgation of the new Constitution on August 27.

Mary Ariviza who was a Church agent at Muthangari Polling Station argues that the much awaited ceremony should be put off since the publication of the results of the referendum in the Kenya gazette on August 6 was not done according to the law.

Ms Ariviza said that the particular gazette notice purports to be a certificate of results of the referendum yet it does not conform to Schedule 2 of the referendum regulations.

“The notice was not valid as it went ultra vires the form set out in Schedule 2 and did not give the results of the referendum as provided by the law,” her lawyer Judy Madahana told the High Court.

She claims that the certificate of the results of the referendum states that the Proposed New Constitution has either been “ratified or not ratified.” The form also has the words results of the referendum and provides space for inserting the figures and words of the results.

She also claims that there was a deliberate attempt by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and the Attorney General who she has cited as respondents in the case to confuse the public by referring to the new law as the Proposed Constitution under the Constitution of Kenya Review Act 2010 yet the Constitution of Kenya Referendum Regulation 36(1) refers to the Proposed New Constitution.

“This confusion by the respondents raises the question as to which document was put to referendum and therefore which document can be validly promulgated under the published gazette notice 9360,” she said.

“The purported gazette notice is erroneous, contrary to the law and null and void.”

She further says that there have been press reports quoting the chairman of the Committee of Experts, Nzamba Gitonga as having stated that there has been no publication of a valid gazette notice on the final results of the Referendum.

High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule has now certified the matter as urgent and directed her lawyers to serve the relevant parties including the IIEC and the Attorney General with the case papers.

The case is set for hearing on Friday, August 20.

President Mwai Kibaki is expected to lead the nation in promulgating the new law at Uhuru Park on August 27.


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