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Political Parties Tribunal Rules Against Ekuru Aukot

Third Way Alliance Kenya Party leader Dr Ekuru Aukot has suffered yet another blow after the Political Parties and Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) declared as null and void a decision to expel its Secretary-General Fredrick Okango.

Ekuru Aukot

Thirdway Alliance Party secretary-general Fredrick Okango. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Okango was suspended over remarks he made on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), hinting that the party had joined the BBI bandwagon.

According to Okango, the party had held a special National Executive committee (NEC) on January 25, 2020, to discuss Punguza Mizigo 2 and BBI 2 among other things.

“That some of the NEC members and the public would love to see a merger between Punguza Mizigo 2 and BBI 2 processes instead of running two parallel constitution amendments processes that would confuse Kenyans and undermine each other’s efforts,” said Okango in a statement.

Other members who had been expelled include Agnes Nduta Gachahi (chairperson of the women league) and Dr Angela Mwikali Nyalita (deputy 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 flopped.

Dr Nyalita was expelled from the position on February 3, after she opposed the ouster of Mr Okango, disagreeing with the party leader Dr Ekuru Aukot.

According to Okango, he had 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 first reinstated in March pending the hearing and determination of the case. In the petition, 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.

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.

The tribunal found out that the decision to kick out Okango and other party leaders 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.

The Thirdway Alliance National Executive Council (NEC) was also been barred from taking any disciplinary action against Okango and other party officials who were expelled.

Here are the screengrabs of the ruling.

 

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 illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety on the part of the respondents, ” the ruling reads.


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