Lobby group challenges formation of people assemblies

Written By: Kevin Wachira
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The High Court in Kitui has granted temporary orders barring the setting up of the so called people assemblies by the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA).

The orders sought by a group calling itself counties development group bans county assemblies for constituting special colleges or implementing the motion on the people’s assemblies and undertaking any activity that does not comply  with article 257 of the constitution.

The case, filed on Monday afternoon, seeks to stop ward representatives from implementing motions tabled and moved before them for the appointment or election of members, delegations and observers to the people’s assemblies.

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The high court in Kitui granted counties development group’s plea to have county assemblies restrained from passing and implementing NASA’s motions of creating People’s Assembly.

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The interim conservatory order was issued pending the hearing of the case set for January 2018.

On the same day the High court barred county assemblies from participating in creation of peoples’ assembly, Kilifi County Assembly passed a motion sponsored by NASA for the creation of People’s Assembly becoming the 9th devolved House to do so.

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Other county assemblies that have passed the motion include Busia, Siaya, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Makueni County.

The opposition plans to use the People’s Assemblies to develop suggestions of how to change the Constitution, including the structure of government and the elections regime.

However, the order by the court restrains county assemblies for undertaking any activity that is outside article 257 of the constitution.

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The lobby group sued the Attorney-General, the Senate, the National Assembly and Kitui County Assembly as the first, second, third and fourth respondents, respectively.

The judge has ordered the petitioners to serve Kitui County assembly and the other 46 county assemblies.

The said article in the constitution outlines how the constitution can be amended through a popular initiative which must be signed by at least one million registered voters.

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