The Political Parties and Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) has declared as null and void a decision by Third Way Alliance Kenya party to expel its Secretary-General Fredrick Okango.
In its ruling, the tribunal further ruled that Agnes Nduta Gachahi remains to be the chairperson of the women league as the decision to suspend her was illegal.
Okango and Ms Gachahi were suspended in January and February respectively on grounds of gross misconduct.
The party’s National Executive Council (NEC) suspended Okang’o over remarks he made on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), hinting that the party had joined the BBI bandwagon.
Party leader Ekuru Aukot took issue with the remarks and accused Okango of contradicting the party position which he said was to relaunch Punguza Mizigo initiative that had failed to garner enough support in the county level to push for constitutional changes.
Okango later received a letter dated February 18 indicating that he had been expelled from the party on February 25.
Okango petitioned against his expulsion and was reinstated in March pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Aukot, NEC Chairman Miruru Waweru were listed as respondents in the petition.
In the case, Okango argued that he was not given a right to a fair hearing as he was not invited to attend any disciplinary hearing nor given reason for dismissal.
Whereas the party indicated that the members had been reinstated to their positions in the interest of party unity, the tribunal sought to pursue the legality of their dismissal.
The tribunal found out that the decision to kick out Okango from the party was illegal and unprocedural.
“The purported procedure and resultant suspension as the Secretary-General (the Claimant herein)” and subsequent dismissal of the Claimant from the party vide a NEC meeting held on 28th January 2020 and 3rd February respectively was illegal, null and void, ” the tribunal ruled.
Each party in the case was ordered to bear its own costs “so as to foster party unity”.
On Ms Gichahi’s case, the tribunal also noted that while suspending the complainant on grounds of gross misconduct the party did not adhere to laid down disciplinary processes.
“The information placed before this Tribunal evidently supports the claim that the action by the Respondents to remove the Claimant from a position she rightly held was as a result of an illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety on the part of the respondents, ” the ruling reads.