Court bars IEBC from clearing UDA Kiambu senator aspirant Karungo Thang’wa

Kiambu senatorial aspirant Karungo Thang'wa

Kiambu senatorial aspirant Karungo Thang'wa.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Kiambu senatorial aspirant Karungo wa Thang’wa has suffered yet another blow in his bid to be cleared to vie for the seat.

This is after the High Court declined his request to stop an earlier ruling barring the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from receiving his nomination papers since he had been impeached as a county executive in Kiambu County under former governor Ferdinand Waititu.

The High Court barred the electoral commission from clearing the UDA nominee pending determination of a suit challenging his suitability to vie or hold a public office.

Justice Anthony Mrima had also referred the matter to a three-judge bench that is set to be appointed by Chief Justice Martha Koome to deal with other related and/or similar suits.

“I have perused the Notice of Motion dated May 26, 2022. Since the matter was transmitted to the Hon Chief Justice for the empanelment of the expanded Bench of the High Court and the court being unaware whether the said Bench has been empanelled or not, it is hereby directed that the Notice of Motion herein be dealt with by the expanded Bench,” read in part a ruling by Justice Mrima dated May 27, 2022.

The race to succeed outgoing Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi has attracted businessman George Maara, running on a Jubilee Party ticket, Tujibebe Party’s Irungu Gathii, Machel Waikenda and former Sigona MCA Mutonya Njenga, vying on Chama Cha Kazi party, among others.

Mr Thang’wa’s woes began when a voter, Kelvin Njui Wangari, petitioned the court to bar him from the upcoming polls on grounds that he was impeached from office on alleged gross misconduct.

He was impeached in October 2019 when serving as the Kiambu county government minister for Youth Affairs and Sports.

IEBC has also said that they will not clear impeached politicians to run for elective office in line with the provision of Article 75(3) of the Constitution.

The article states that “A person who has been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for a contravention of the provisions specified in clause (2) is disqualified from holding any other state office.”

However, he appealed not to have his case heard alongside similar matters on grounds that he has “never been impeached or removed from office as contemplated under section 40 of the County Governments Act.”

Mr Thang’wa argued that it will be highly prejudicial for the petition to be heard alongside others related to impeachments.

He further stated that the court’s order to consolidate his impeachment case with others including the case against Mr Sonko was obtained by the petitioner through misrepresentation of facts.

“That the ex parte order was obtained by the petitioner through deliberate concealment of material facts and a misrepresentation that I have previously been impeached and removed from office hence unqualified for elective office,” reads in part the appeal.

He had also blamed the “deep state” and his opponents for his current woes, saying the move to stop his bid will fall terribly.

“Dear Deep State and my opponents, hatutishiki sisi (we are not cowed). Play your games, in the end prepare your candidates for the elections,” he posted on social media.

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