CJ assigns Ligale case to new judge

November 22, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Chief Justice Evan Gicheru has now appointed another judge to hear a case that seeks to reverse a ban against the creation of 80 new constituencies.

The directive follows an application by the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission through chairman Andrew Ligale, who wanted Justice Jeanne Gacheche removed from the case.

He had argued that she gave unfavourable orders against the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC).

“This application is extremely urgent since it seeks to protect the respondents’ right to due process of justice including the right to be heard and the need to protect the constitutional mandate of the respondents,” Mr Ligale said.

Justice Gacheche blocked Ligale from gazetting the new constituencies in a case filed by a Nairobi businessman Joseph Kimanthi who claimed that the new boundaries were unconstitutional because Mr Ligale and two of his commissioners were not qualified to draw them.

Last week, she issued further orders against the gazettment after 11 MPs moved to court seeking a similar ban.

MPs from upper Eastern have also joined the fray in demanding for equal distribution of the new electoral units.

North Horr MP Chachu Ganya and his Moyale counterpart Mohammed Ali Mohammud said their constituencies should have been split due to their vast size.

On Monday, a number of University students from North Horr staged a protest outside the High Court demanding that the court intervenes and blocks the IIBRC from publishing the new boundaries.

The case by Mr Ligale will be heard on Tuesday.

Meanwhile two MPs opposing to the proposed new constituencies announced by the Ligale Commission have now said they will not support a censure Motion in Parliament against the Government Printer.

Dagoretti MP Beth Mugo and Kitutu Masaba legislator Walter Nyambati said it was unfair for the lawmakers to victimise the government official for ensuring due process was followed before gazettement of the document.

The Government Printer last week defended himself against accusations of frustrating publication of the notice gazetting the 80 new constituencies, saying that the material for publication had not been approved by the Attorney General\’s office, which was against procedure.

"We want to thank the Government Printer for following the law because he could see what was being given was not done correctly," he said.

MPs had last week signed a petition seeking to censure Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Justice Gacheche, as the constituencies row persisted.

Mr Nyambati wondered why the commission was rushing the process yet they had not completed their mandate which also included demarcating the new constituencies.

Ms Mugo pointed out that in the past when the boundaries were reviewed, they would include the description of the constituency.

"That is why it is called a boundaries committee not a names committee.  You wonder what report was to be printed when the description of the constituencies was missing," said the Public Health Minister.

Mr Nyambati added: "It should have indicated how many wards and locations are in it, because also the boundaries will tell you how many people are in that constituency."


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