Court Halts Punguza Mizigo Over Constitutional Conflicts

Punguza Mizigo Bill

The proposed amendment of the Constitution fronted by Thirdway Alliance Kenya party, popularly known as Punguza Mizigo, has been stopped by the High Court Judge James Makau from being debated or approved in all county assemblies across the country following a pending case filed against it by David Ngari.

According to the High Court Judge, the party has been barred from presenting the Bill to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the orders will remain in force for 14 days awaiting other parties named in the petition to file their responses who include Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Speakers of National Assembly and Senate, Thirdway Alliance and 47 Speakers of the county assemblies.

Mr David Kamau Ngari who filed the petition faulted the Punguza Mizigo Bill, noting that it contains provisions which contravene the constitutional safeguards on fair trial and due process guaranteed in the Constitution.

He said that IEBC has purported to receive, verify and approve the Bill and forwarded it to the county assemblies for debate and approval yet IEBC does not have the quorum as there are only two commissioners and the chairman. The quorum required to receive, verify and approve a proposed Bill for amendment under popular initiative under Article 257 of the Constitution should be at least five

In the petition, he pointed out that the Bill was procured through deceit and illegal signatures as the uniformity of the signatures raise the question of authenticity and reliability of the signed forms and that it was impossible to verify the signatures them. That the verification process was done mechanically instead of having voters registered biometrically, rendering the alleged verification and approval of the Bill is unconstitutional, null and void.

The Party protested the move, claiming that they were only given less than a day to file their response and that they should have been given at least three clear days to respond.  The Party through a lawyer is expected to file a response within five days, and the case be heard on August 13.

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