In a major blow to President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the High Court in Eldoret has upheld the ruling revoking the nomination of nine MCAs to the Uasin Gishu County Assembly.
Justice Reuben Nyakundi delivered the verdict yesterday, ordering the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to degazette the names of the affected MCAs within 14 days and replace them with the approved list.
This decision impacts nine aggrieved individuals – James Wachira, Belinda Chebichi, David Waiganjo, Rhodah Cheruiyot, Nancy Kiboi, Hassan Chepkoech, Sarah Abdi, Magrine Chebet, and Juliet Chelimo – who lose their seats immediately. Meanwhile, the court has directed the IEBC to gazette a different set of nine individuals under the gender top-up list: Carolne Jeptanui, Cherono Caroline, Tirop Everline, Serem Naomi, Ngetich Pamela, Sharon Jewel Kogo, Burgei Veronica, Mutai Celestine, and Rebecca Jerop. Additionally, four individuals under the special category – Kiplagat Gerald, Wambui Tabitha, Kering Robert, and Regina Chemba – will be gazetted.
The court’s ruling reveals that six of the originally nominated MCAs who lost their positions were incorrectly shortlisted in the gender top-up list, while three were irregular in the special category. Upon the official gazettement of the approved list, the Uasin Gishu County Assembly is instructed to swear in the new members during its immediate sitting.
Furthermore, the court issued a strong warning to the IEBC. Should the commission fail to complete the gazettement of the legitimate list within the 14-day period, the speaker of the County Assembly is authorized to declare the positions of the nominated MCAs vacant.
This decision carries significant political ramifications for UDA and its control over the Uasin Gishu County Assembly. While the party has the option to appeal the verdict, the court’s order stands for now, and the Assembly must swiftly respond to accommodate the change in its composition.