NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – The Jubilee Party has petitioned the Supreme Court to censure National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga for contempt of court, following his withdrawal from the presidential race and alleged obstruction of the party’s local agents from training, specifically in Siaya and Kisumu County.
Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju argues that Odinga, by withdrawing from the race, is in contempt of court.
“…the petitioners (Raila Odinga and other Kalonzo Musyoka) have engaged in conduct that can only be termed as illegal, unlawful and disrespectful, all geared towards ensuring that the orders of this Honourable Court as contained in its determination of 01 September 2017 not implemented,” reads a section of Tuju’s affidavit.
He says through the weekly “violent protests” in agitation for changes at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the NASA leader has proven that he was not keen to participate in the October 26 repeat presidential election.
In a press statement, Tuju said the Party went to the Supreme Court, “of Kenya today October 19, 2017, to petition the court for orders to cite NASA principals for contempt of Court…”
In the affidavit, Tuju narrates a series of activities by the NASA leaders, which he submits prove that they were disrespectful of the court’s order.
Elsewhere, the Party on Thursday said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should proceed and carry out next week’s presidential election as mandated by the constitution.
Tuju said whether the President meets the electoral body Chairperson Wafula Chebukati or not, that should not act as a barrier to the October 26 poll, insisting that any dispute should be settled by the Supreme Court.
“While the President is at liberty to meet any Kenyan and of course the Chairman of the IEBC at his pleasure, the Jubilee Party’s position is that the IEBC has the distinct responsibility thrust upon it by the constitution to organise and oversee elections including the one scheduled for October 26 without reference to anyone,” Tuju said.
“The constitution envisages the role of the IEBC Chair to be the referee of the presidential election not the mediator of political contests.”
He insisted that neither the president nor National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga can define the rules of the game other than the Supreme Court and that is only where there is doubt or ambiguity.
“It is the duty of the Supreme Court to address it, given its original and appellate jurisdiction to interpret the constitution as well as any other law relating to elections or otherwise,” he pointed out.
It is not clear yet whether President Kenyatta, who is currently in the homestretch of his campaigns, will meet the IEBC chairperson.
On Wednesday, IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati urged Odinga and President Kenyatta to meet and ease the political tension in the country.
But Kenyatta has refused any postponement of the election and said any “dialogue” should focus on how to ensure that next Thursday’s election proceeds smoothly and peacefully.
“That is the only dialogue that is on the table, an election (…),” he said during a live chat with voters on Facebook.
“We are ready to dialogue at any time on how we will conduct ourselves during the election,” he said.