Eseli insists High Court has no jurisdiction to handle Ford Kenya case yet

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Ford Kenya secretary general Dr. Eseli Simiyu speaking to journalists

The leadership wrangles that have rocked Ford Kenya party may not end anytime soon as the matter that has put party leader Moses Wetangula and party secretary general Dr. Eseli Simiyu on a war path is now at the High Court chambers. Wetangula, who was dismissed from his party leader position by NEC members led by the secretary general Eseli Simiyu and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi rushed to the High Court on 15th June to bar the registrar of political parties and party secretary general Dr. Eseli from effecting any changes in the leadership of the party.

The hearing of the matter was slated for 29th June but the Eseli-led team through their lawyers led by Otiende Amolo filed an application questioning the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear a matter affecting political parties at that stage. After listening to all parties, the sitting Judge James Makau ordered the Eseli team to serve the Wetangula team in three days with all the relevant documents supporting their position to challenge the legality of the High Court to hear that matter.

Wetangula and Ford Kenya party lawyer Benson Milimo confirmed that the case on the jurisdiction of the court shall now be mentioned on 9th July after all parties have been served with the documents and replies received before the judge sets a hearing date to determine the Court’s jurisdiction after which he will give directions depending on the outcome. “This case is still a long way because now we have to handle the matter of jurisdiction of the Court to hear the dispute case before we go back to the main issue that brought us before the Court in the first place. This case might take quite some time,” said Milimo after hearing the case virtually in his office in Nairobi.

On his part, Dr. Eseli accused Wetangula of taking the matter to the High Court intentionally so that it drags out and give him time to remain in office as party leader, affirming that he will vacate the seat at all costs. He argued that the matter should first be handled by the political parties disputes tribunal before going to the High Court, which he said has no jurisdiction to handle the case at this point. “As far as we know this matter should be at the political parties disputes tribunal. After that, if one party is not satisfied with the tribunal’s decision then they can come to appeal at the High Court,” said Eseli when he spoke to journalists at the parliament buildings. He further urged Wetangula to leave the party leader position honorably, the same way Musikari Kombo was told to leave and he left without much drama.