Fresh controversy has courted Budalang’i Member of Parliament Ababu Namwamba over the legitimacy of his membership and leadership of the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK).
For the second time, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal has suspended Ababu’s continued association with the party founded by veteran politician, Dr Julia Ojiambo, pending the outcome of a petition lodged by Zaccheus Wangila Simiyu.
Ababu received a temporary reprieve on March 9 when the tribunal allowed the withdrawal of a similar petition lodged by John Baraza Makhokha after it was confirmed that the complainant was not a genuine member of the party and thus had no legal capacity to institute the suit.
Dr Ojiambo, who is the party’s national Chairperson and the treasurer, Patrick Mutemi, had applied for the reversal of Ababu’s suspension on February 28 since the complainant was a stranger to the party affairs.
Baraza had expressed his apprehension that Namwamba was likely to enter into political alignments and agreements with other political outfits under the pretence and misrepresentation that he was a member and official of the party. He said it was in the public domain that Namwamba was a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
In the present case, the tribunal, chaired by veteran lawyer Kyalo Mbobu, directed Wangila to provide all the necessary documents to Ababu to facilitate an urgent hearing on March 28. The other members of the tribunal were James Atema, Paul Ngotho, Milly Onyango and Dr Adelaide Mbithi.