The United Democratic Party has granted permission to parastatal heads to contest in the December Party Elections contrary to a directive issued by Attorney General Justin Muturi and an advisory by Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi.
In a memo issued to its members on Thursday, UDA refuted barring those who held positions as Directors in state corporations from competing for elective positions.
Muturi and Mudavadi had warned that Parastatal heads were state officers and, therefore, were not allowed to take part in political activities.
UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala, however, cited a court of appeal ruling allowing Board chairmen to participate, saying they were not state officers as stipulated by the Constitution.
Attorney General Justin Muturi appears before the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
”The position is informed by the decision of the High Court that members of State Corporations are not employees who draw from the exchequer and are therefore not state officials to warrant their disassociation from political parties,” Malala stated in a memo.
He further referred to a letter UDA had earlier sent to the Attorney General expressing its stand on the matter.
”In the circumstances, members of the Party who are independent directors may contest in the grassroots elections. Enclosed herewith is the referenced communication,” it further read.
In the letter dated 14/9/2023, the party referred to the judgment in a case of Katiba Institute & another vs Attorney General & another that was in control of the advisory.
”Given the above implications, it becomes evident that adhering to the finding of the court is not just a matter of legal consistency but also of operational efficiency,” the letter partly read.
UDA also asked Muturi to base his opinion on the legal framework, stating that it was the accurate position, contrary to his own.
According to the party’s National Delegates Convention (NDC), elections will be held countrywide starting December 9, 2023.
President William Ruto, the party leader, hopes to consolidate more support nationwide ahead of the 2027 General Election.
Photo of UDA Headquarter in Nairobi