A Siaya court dismissed two petitions challenging the nomination of a member of the county assembly to represent interests of persons with disability.
Siaya principal magistrate, James Ong’ondo in his ruling, said that the respondent, Andrew Omwende Omollo was lawfully nominated, in accordance with the constitution, by the Orange Democratic Movement party.
“Omwende is a person living with disability as clearly defined,” noted the magistrate who said that the petitions by Judith Akinyi Ajwala and Mauray Asewe Ouko lacked merit.
The two had separately filed petitions in which they sued the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Omwende and enjoined the Orange Democratic Movement and Siaya County Disability Network as interested parties.
The two petitions were however consolidated, heard and determined together.
In their petition, the two had asked the court to nullify the nomination of Omwende arguing the procedure did not comply with the law.
They appealed to the court to order IEBC to degazette Omwende as an MCA representing people with disability and that the orders be presented to the clerk to Siaya county assembly for action.
But Omwende, who was represented by lawyer Francis Rakewa, maintained that being a person living with disability, he was entitled for nomination just like the petitioners and any other person with disability.
The magistrate, Mr. Ong’ondo ordered the petitioners to pay costs, capped at sh. 500,000 to Omwende and IEBC.
Reacting to the ruling Omwende and several people living with disability hailed the ruling and called on the losers to forget the past and unite in fighting for the rights of those living with disability.
“I want to give the best to my constituents, the persons living with disabilities now that the case that has dragged on for more than a year is gone,” said Omwende.
The secretary of the Ugenya persons with disability, Collins Onyango and Siaya County ODM persons with disability chairman Chris Dondo called for unity amongst PWDs.
By Philip Onyango