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Referendum team readies for first major court battle

28 August 2014, 08:06 William Korir

Nairobi - The Okoa Kenya referendum team will face the first of many expected court battles as it fights to ascertain its authenticity Thursday at the High Court.

This follows an application by Kieni MP Kanini Kega to have the process of collecting 1 million signatures by the team stopped, saying it is illegal.

Kieni claims that contrary to article 257 of the Constitution, the Okoa Kenya team had started collecting signatures despite having not formulated their general suggestions into a draft Bill as required by the Constitution.

Further, under Article 257(4) of the Constitution, the existence of a draft Bill is a condition precedent for soliciting and procurement of at least one million registered voters to support a popular initiative to amend the supreme law.

The Kieni MP also said that he had seen a document by the Okoa Kenya known as the Referendum Petition, which is the basis on which the movement, ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya are soliciting and procuring for signatures.

The document, he said, did not detail the provisions of the Constitution that Okoa Kenya sought to amend, repeal or add.

The MP said that the petition was too vague and general to facilitate meaningful public participation and informed choices required under Articles 10, 35 and 38 of the Constitution.

The case will be heard as a matter of urgency Thursday.

Leader of the Okoa Kenya legal team Paul Mwangi did not comment on the claims, instead saying that he will defend the team in court once the process is underway.

He did insist that the basis for the collection of signatures though is okay.

" We are okay. We have gone through every possible scenario. All will be well, he said.

The signature collection process kicked off over the weekend in Nairobi, the Coast as well as parts of Western Kenya.

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