What you need to know:
- Speaker Benson Mutura said Ms Malenya’s return follows a court order suspending the implementation of an April 5, 2019 gazette notice that replaced her with Perpetua Mponjiwa.
- The Speaker said the Nairobi court suspended the implementation of the gazette notice that saw Ms Malenya lose her seat to Ms Mponjiwa as ODM’s bona fide nominee for the gender top up category
Nominated MCA Eve Malenya has finally regained her seat after more than a year out in the cold.
The ODM legislator, who lost her seat in April last year, was reinstated on Thursday.
After losing the seat, the assembly in July last year stripped Ms Malenya of all the privileges and benefits accorded to a nominated MCA.
Speaker Benson Mutura said Ms Malenya’s return follows a court order suspending the implementation of an April 5, 2019 gazette notice that replaced her with Perpetua Mponjiwa.
The Speaker said the Nairobi court suspended the implementation of the gazette notice that saw Ms Malenya lose her seat to Ms Mponjiwa as ODM’s bona fide nominee for the gender top up category and in the process restoring her to the seat.
“This therefore, effectively reinstates Hon. Eve Malenya as the Member of this County Assembly. Consequently, I now direct the Office of the Clerk to reinstate Ms Malenya on all benefits, privileges and platforms enjoyed by MCAs without arrears,” said Mr Mutura.
Ms Malenya and Ms Mponjiwa have been in a battle for the nomination slot since 2017 with both claiming the right to the position.
When the courts ruled in favour of Ms Mponjiwa in April 2019, Ms Malenya went back to court to seek orders to stop the swearing in of the former.
Ms Malenya said that she was the right person for nomination as MCA, asking the court to suspend the April 5, 2019 gazette notice on Ms Mponjiwa's swearing-in.
Ms Malenya argued that Ms Mponjiwa ran as an independent candidate in the 2017 General Election and was therefore ineligible to be nominated or elected by ODM.
Spirited attempts by Ms Mponjiwa to take oath of office have been futile with ODM and Ms Malenya's husband thwarting such efforts.
Stranger to ODM
In July this year, Ms Malenya's husband, Job Oduor, stripped to his underwear at the entrance of Nairobi County Assembly when he got wind that his wife's rival was to be sworn in by the assembly.
ODM has also stood with Ms Malenya blocking any attempts by Ms Mponjiwa to take oath of office. ODM has maintained that it recognises Ms Malenya as their nominee.
Even the latest court order on September 18, 2020 that gave the Speaker 14 days to swear in Ms Mponjiwa did not materialise after ODM, through the Minority Leader Michael Ogada, blocked the move.
Mr Ogada objected to any swearing in arguing that Ms Mponjiwa is a "stranger to ODM" having resigned several years ago from the party.
He argued that neither the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) nor the assembly's Speaker has ever declared the seat vacant.
The swearing in would later not take place as the House lacked quorum to transact any business.
But the battle might not be entirely over with Speaker Mutura saying there is still an active appeal in court that could swing in any direction with the outcome of the case set to determine whether Ms Malenya will stay in office to the end of the current assembly.
“To whether the Member shall enjoy the benefits and privileges until the end of the term shall be determined by the outcome of the court and the conclusion of the case. It is my hope that the court will expeditiously adjudicate on and put this matter to rest,” he said.