BY SAM ALFAN.
The High court has temporarily reinstated the embattled four MPs who had been removed from heading different house committed pending hearing and determination of the case.
Four members of parliament who are accused of not being royal to the party moved to court challenging a decision to remove them from various committee position.
The MP’s affiliated to Jubilee party Alfred Keter, Silas Kipkoech, David Bowen and James Gakuya argue that the decision by majority chief whip Benjamin Washiali was unreasonable, irrational and without notice infringed on their constitutional rights of fair action and fair hearing.
They argue that the net effect of them being discharged from their various committees is that they will effectively lose their positions.
They have named majority leader Aden Duale and the speaker of National Assembly as respondents in the case.
They further argue that they were never given an opportunity to be heard adding that the new Standing Orders provide for an MP being removed from a committee to be given an opportunity to be heard.
The four in the court documents say that the party’s -Jubilee disciplinary mechanism for purposes of wild allegations made against them were never instigated so as to resolve their fate prior to the decision.
“That as can be discerned from the letters from Washiali,the only reason why there is intent to discharge the applicants from their respective departmental committee is because they had expressed interest to chair and or deputize the various committee, actions which cannot be concluded to have been contrary to the party position,”reads the court papers.
According to Jubilee Party insiders , there are a couple of truisms relating to removing of Members that find their legal basis in our Constitution and the Standing Orders.
They argued that the determination of whether to discharge a Member from a Committee lies only with the Party that sponsored a Member to Parliament. It is therefore within the internal affairs of a Party to determine whether or not to remove a Member.
“Pursuant to Standing Order 173, it is also the parliamentary party that sponsored a Member of Parliament that has the mandate to nominate a Member to a Committee. This means Jubilee, NASA or any party may be determines which member should be in which Committee and It is this determination that the Committee selection relies on when selecting Members to Committees” they claimed.
It is further argued that, Parliamentary Party that sponsors a Member to a Committee also has jurisdiction to discharge a Member from a Committee.
The standings orders are clear in particular standing Order 176 which provides that a parliamentary party may discharge a Member from a Committee.
“The Standing Order further provides that the Parliamentary party whip of the Member is then required to give notice in writing to the Speaker of the intention to discharge the Member from the Committee. The Speaker is then required within three days of receipt of the notice to inform the Member” sources said.
If any member is aggrieved by the party decision he may opt to have the matter resolved by the Political Parties Tribunal which is established under the Political Parties Act 2011.