One of Kenya’s smallest ethnic community has sued the Independent Electoral and Boundaries after they were left out of the nomination list for the Marsabit County Assembly.
The El Molo, who reside on the shores of Lake Turkana, are accusing IEBC and its chairman Wafula Chebukati of discrimination.
In the case heard before Justice Roselyn Aburili on Monday, the community argues that it was unfair to fail to consider them for nomination, at least in the Marsabit County Assembly.
Through lawyer Elias Mutuma, the community said they are only 2,800 of them in Kenya and are described as a minority and marginalised community in the entire north eastern part of Kenya.
Led by Ms Danila Lenatiyama, the community argues that there are completely discriminated and marginalised with no form of representation in both the national and county governments.
In a sworn statement, Ms Lenatiyama says her party— Frontiers Alliance Party— nominated her to represent the minority and the marginalised in the county.
Her name, she added, was published in the initial list submitted to the commission for consideration.
She accuses the commission of deliberately omitting her name and instead nominating other persons from majority communities.
She said the move by IEBC was open discrimination, unfair and made in bad faith and without regard of due process.
Ms Lenatiyama said by allocating special seats to other communities like Borana, Somali, Rendile and Gabbra— who are already “over-represented” in the county government through elective positions—is detrimental to the El-molo.
It is her argument that her community can only participate and get an opportunity to be represented in governance by being allocated a special seat in the county.
The move to deny the El Molo representation will deprive them of opportunities to fully participate and integrate into the social and economic life of Kenya as a whole, she argues.
Justice Aburili directed Mr Mutuma to file and serve the main petition within 14 days.
She said the case will be mentioned before Justice John Mativo on September 27 to confirm compliance.