Tribunal rejects Kwamboka’s request to inspect ODM nomination list

Nominated senator Beatrice Kwamboka

Nominated senator Beatrice Kwamboka. A tribunal has dismissed her request seeking to have ODM furnish her with files of 16 candidates shortlisted for nomination to the Senate.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A tribunal has dismissed a request by nominated senator Beatrice Kwamboka seeking to have the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party furnish her with files of 16 candidates shortlisted for nomination to the Senate.

Ms Kwamboka wanted the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal to issue an order allowing her to access and scrutinise the files to enable her strengthen her case against the party.

She filed a complaint at the tribunal after she missed out in the proposed ODM nomination list, having stepped down from the Nairobi woman representative contest.

Alleging that she was unfairly edged out, Ms Kwamboka wanted the tribunal to compel ODM, through its secretary-general, to produce copies of the files of the candidates whose names were published by the electoral commission on July 27.

Shortlisting of non-party members

In the complaint, she also wanted to be given the files to help her establish the impropriety alleged in the nominations, such as shortlisting of non-party members.

She sought the order to have information supplied to her for purposes of scrutinising the same so as to verify if all those nominated were duly nominated in accordance with the law.

But the tribunal, chaired by Mr Fred Orego, dismissed the request and declined to issue the scrutiny order after finding that Ms Kwamboka failed to give specifics of the candidates she alleges were not members of ODM.

"Ms Kwamboka is seeking to challenge the nomination of the 16 women for the Senate. She is alleging that some of them may not have been qualified for nomination on the basis that some of them were not members of the party. She has, however, not narrowed to who is not an alleged party member among the 16 women nominated," the tribunal said.

“Had the allegation been that all of them are not party members, perhaps it would have given this tribunal sufficient cause to consider a grant of the prayer.

Extreme generality

"We, therefore, find that the prayer sought has been pleading with extreme generality that seeks a blanket leave to scrutinise all documents with the hope of stumbling upon some anomaly so as to aid the appeal. Similarly, it has not been demonstrated to this tribunal that failure to grant the orders sought will materially affect the appeal," the tribunal stated.

Ms Kwamboka filed the appeal claiming that ODM had left her out of the 16 women shortlisted for the Senate.

Her lawyer, Danstan Omari, told the tribunal that strangers from other political parties such as Wiper, Narc-Kenya and UDA, had been shortlisted and that the wife of a top party official is in the list.

Party official’s wife

Arguing that there was nepotism in the shortlisting of the candidates, Mr Omari claimed that the said party official’s wife is currently a nominated MCA.

"Ms Kwamboka was left out because strangers and unmerited people were given the positions. She is seeking justice. Laws were flouted to benefit cronies and relatives. There are people irregularly in the list. The Party is scandalised by people given the job to select candidates for nomination but they failed. They should face serious disciplinary action," stated Mr Omari.

He added that there was no justification for leaving Ms Kwamboka out as she had applied for the nomination slot and is qualified.

But the party, through lawyer Jackson Awele, said there was no evidence of the alleged nepotism or cronyism and shortlisting of non-party members.

All applicants treated equally

He added that there was also no justification as to why Ms Kwamboka must be selected since all applicants were treated equally.

"The only grievance is that Ms Kwamboka submitted application for nomination and was not considered. All the other issues such as giving out positions to other people are an after-thought. Why does she think her application should be considered [and not] those of others who sought the same?" he asked.

He stated that there was also no evidence that the wife of a top official had been shortlisted for nomination.

"[There is] no evidence to warrant disturbance of the list. The fact that she is an MCA does not bar her from being nominated again. The law only bars nomination of those nominated twice," said the lawyer.

Among those in the ODM party list is the director of party membership Rosemary Kariuki, former nominated senator Harold Kipchumba and musician Crystal Asige.

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