NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has once again found itself in a court battle after its chairman Issack Hassan was accused of removing Lydia Mathia’s name from The National Alliance (TNA) party nomination list of women members to the Senate.
Hassan was accused of ordering for the removal of Mathia’s name from the list so as to fix nominated Senator Naisula Lesuuda in her place.
Mathia went to court to challenge Lesuuda’s nomination saying that her name was unfairly omitted.
On Wednesday, Mathia told the High Court that Hassan used his influence and directed that her name be left out on account of her ethnicity.
“In my view, actions of the IEBC do not promote the principles of our party and denying someone their right because of their tribe is unconstitutional. I therefore urge the court to right this wrong,” she argued.
According to Mathia, no other explanation was given by the IEBC following its decision to alter TNA’s nomination list.
She went on to say that the issue of being marginalised was real in the country but is yet to be defined.
Through her lawyer Kibe Mungai, Mathia said she was validly nominated third on the TNA list that was submitted to the IEBC on January 29 whereas Lesuuda was fifth.
Mathia told the presiding Judge Rose Ougo that Hassan ordered the removal under Article 90 of the Constitution.
A section of Article 90 states that election of seats in Parliament shall be on the basis of proportional representation by the use of party lists.
It also states that the IEBC shall be responsible for the conduct and supervision of elections and ensure that each political party participating in a General Election submits a list of all persons who stand elected within the time stipulated in the national legislation.
Lesuuda through her lawyer Charles Kanjama said Mathia had not given clear justification of her petition and the tribal issue was not a just cause.
Hassan, who was present during the hearing of the petition at the Milimani Law Courts, is expected to give his evidence in support of his decision.