Embu County Assembly Clerk Jim Kauma has been sued for contempt of court after disobeying orders issued by the High court stopping election of one of the candidates for the position of speaker pending hearing and determination of a petition challenging his candidature.
The petitioner, James Gitonga Mutabi, had moved to court challenging the eligibility of former Speaker Josiah Thiriku for violating Elections Act requiring all public servants intending to vie for elective posts to resign six months before elections.
Gitonga had argued that Thiriku was still an employee of the County Public Service Board having not resigned from his position as Director of Tourism and Trade.
High court Judge Lucy Njuguna on Tuesday, September 20, issued a temporary injunction ordering the clerk to stop clearance of Thiriku to contest for the seat until the petition is heard and determined and further directed all parties to be duly served before close of business the same day.
However, the clerk went on to conduct the elections of the speaker yesterday where Thiriku was re-elected after garnering 26 votes against his only competitor Daniel Kamunda who got two votes. The Assembly has so far denied receipt of the court orders.
The petitioner, through lawyer Charles Mwalimu in the contempt of court application argued that the clerk conducted the elections in total disregard of the law and must be held accountable, noting that he was duly served through email, WhatsApp and even physically.
At the same time, Kamunda sought to be enjoined in the suit as an interested party since he was a candidate for the election.
“The speaker was elected illegally, there being orders barring his inclusion in the contest,” he argued.
Judge Njuguna directed the clerk who was not in court or represented, to be served again before close of business today and that he also files responses tomorrow.
She said both applications for contempt and enjoinment by Kamunda will be heard on Monday, September 26.