Why Jimi Wanjigi wants complaints on his presidential bid dismissed

Jimi Wanjigi

ODM presidential hopeful Jimi Wanjigi interacting with University students in Nairobi on November 3, 2021. 

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

ODM party Presidential aspirant Jimi Wanjigi wants the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) to dismiss a complaint filed by Nyeri politician Catherine Irungu against his presidential bid and campaigns.

In his notice of preliminary objection, Mr Wanjigi through Otieno Ogola and company advocates says the tribunal does not have powers to deal with the matter.

He states three grounds on which he wants the notice of motion filed by Ms Irungu struck out with costs.

“…this honourable tribunal does not have the requisite jurisdiction to hear the application and the entire suit on the basis of Section 40 (2) of the Political Parties Act and the matter has been filed herein in abuse of established law and procedure.”

He also states that: “the applicant has not exhausted the internal party dispute resolution mechanisms as required by law hence this suit falls foul of the principle of exhaustion.”

He also faults Ms Irungu for failing to disclose any reasonable course of action capable of being tried by the tribunal.

Seven days

The PPDT had granted the Raila Odinga-led Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party seven days to respond to a case that is challenging Mr Wanjigi’s presidential bid and campaigns.

The tribunal chaired by Desma Nungo last Thursday certified the petition as urgent and directed Mr Wanjigi to also file and furnish the petitioner with his response within seven days.

The case filed by Nyeri politician Catherine Wanjiku Irungu is seeking to compel ODM to take action against Mr Wanjigi for declaring his presidential bid without following internal procedures.

Ms Irungu, an ODM life member, also wants the party to discipline the businessman for using his campaign platforms to attack and criticise party leader Raila Odinga.

Another order sought is to stop Mr Wanjigi from contesting in the party’s electoral processes, convening any meeting or transacting any business on behalf of the party.

In addition, she has applied for a stop order against the businessman’s presidential campaigns. In the case, the petitioner is also questioning the authenticity of Mr Wanjigi’s membership in the party.

Ms Irungu claims that Mr Wanjigi’s life membership application was neither presented to nor approved by a properly convened National Executive Meeting as required by the Constitution of ODM.

Temporal requirements

“ODM has not ensured that Wanjigi has completed the constitutionally entrenched temporal requirements for membership before announcing candidature and embarking on campaigns,” says Ms Irungu who in 2017 elections vied for Mathira parliamentary seat as independent candidate.

She wants the tribunal to order ODM to produce the minutes leading to the decision of the National Executive Council (NEC) to award Mr Wanjigi with membership of the party and his ethics and integrity report.

Further, she is aggrieved that ODM has failed to enforce its own Constitution and rules by failing to discipline the businessman for “undermining the authority of the party by opening parallel offices even when instructed to stop”.

“ODM has failed or ignored to enforce its constitution by failing to discipline Wanjigi for announcing candidature and campaigning for electoral positions on the party ticket without qualifying for the same,” reads the statement of complaint.

Another claim is that the party has permitted strangers to form opinions and run with its agenda and abusing structures of the party. Through its actions, the party has sabotaged its integrity and has caused confusion to the members.

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