The Court of Appeal has handed embattled Gatundu North Member of Parliament Anne Wanjiku Kibe temporary relief after suspending a High Court ruling that declared her seat vacant.
While suspending the ruling delivered by Justice Weldon Korir early this month, the Appellate Court restrained the National Assembly and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from declaring Ms Kibe ‘s seat vacant or ordering a by-election pending the hearing and determination of her petition challenging the ruling.
“Having looked at all the proposed grounds of appeal, we do not entertain any doubt that the intended appeal is arguable. As has been held in various decisions of this Court such as Stanley Kangethe Kinyanjui v Tony Ketter & Others, an arguable point is not one that must succeed, but one which ought to be argued fully,” a three-judge bench handling the matter said.
The judges noted that a notice of appeal operates as an automatic stay of the judgment of the High Court.
“If [ Speaker Justin Muturi] orders a by-election…. and the intended appeal succeeds it would create a situation not at all in the public interest. The appeal would be rendered nugatory,” the judges said.
Ms Kibe was dragged to court by her predecessor Clement Waibara on grounds that she did not qualify to vie for the seat in 2017.
In the case, Waibara argued that Ms Kibe had not resigned as a nominated member of the Kiambu county assembly (MCA) when she ran for the seat.
The petitioner argued that IEBC participated in committing a constitutional illegality by allowing Ms Kibe to vie for the MP seat while she was still serving as a ward representative.