Kirinyaga Woman Representative Purity Ngirici has filed a suit challenging her ouster as chairperson of Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa).
In a case certified as urgent, the MP faulted her removal on July 7, saying the meeting which led to it was illegal, lacked quorum and did not adhere to the provisions of the association’s constitution.
Ms Ngirici has named Ms Gathoni Wamuchomba, who replaced her as chair, Ms Roza Buyu, Ms Mishi Mboko and the Registrar of Societies as respondents in the case.
Justice James Makau certified the case as urgent and directed the respondents to file their replies within two days. The case will be mentioned on July 23 for confirmation of compliance with the directive.
Ms Ngirici notes that Kewopa’s leaders are elected at the beginning of the parliamentary term and are expected to be in office for a term of Parliament as provided in Rule 6(b) of the association’s constitution.
The constitution, she also says, has an elaborate, strict and inclusive process for removing a chair or any other elected officer bearer.
She says her colleagues illegally convened the meeting to discuss her conduct and thereafter replaced her with Ms Wamuchomba, who is Kiambu’s woman representative.
The move, she says, was made in disregard of cardinal mandatory provisions in the association’s constitution and in violation of her rights.
As the chair, Ms Ngirici adds, she has carried out her duties and implemented the association’s objects and agenda as per her mandate and with absolute and unwavering diligence.
She further says that she and some members did not receive any invitation to the meeting and that there weren’t enough attendees.
Ms Ngirici alleges malice and fraud in her removal, stating further that the threshold of 73 out of the total membership of 97 was not met.
She says in the petition that other than relying on member funding, Kewopa is funded by donors whose charity relies on trust and belief that the association is stable and democratic, adheres to its core values and is managed by leaders who would not flout the rule of law.
“The illegal ouster of the chairperson of the association and the resultant squabbling over control, power and leadership places the association in unfavourable light and threatens the livelihoods of thousands of women who depend on it and its proper functioning,” she says in a sworn statement.
She wants the court to stop any planned leadership changes and adoption of the resolutions of the July 17 meeting pending determination of her case.
“The association’s constitution is clear in the manner of calling of any AGM or SGM, the notice period and the manner of communicating the same. It is clear that this was not adhered to,” she says.