Nairobi-based lawyer Robi Chacha on Tuesday, June 30 moved to eject MP Babu Owino from office through Article 104 of the Constitution on the right of recall.
His announcement looking for registered voters in Embakasi East to fulfill the Constitutional requirements to oust the MP quickly went viral and elicited hundreds of responses, many of them from Embakasi residents who voiced their willingness to sign the petition.
An Advocate of the High Court, Robi works as a Communities Associate, Africa at Accountability Counsel, an international human rights organization.
The lawyer’s petition came a day after Felix Orinda alias DJ Evolve, the victim in the Attempted Murder case against Babu, gave his first interview after being discharged from hospital to an outpouring of emotions.
“Anyone here who is a registered voter in Embaskasi East? I am willing to draft a petition for the removal of Babu Owino as MP as per Article 104 & the Elections Act.
“I’m sure we can mobilize the required 30% (registered voters in a constituency) and 15% (registered voters in ward) Who’s in?” Chacha wrote.
Some of the Embakasi residents who responded even offered to mobilize their neighbourhoods and residential estates to sign the petition.
Non-Embakasi East residents also voiced their support for the petition as they criticized the MP for his actions at B-Club, Nairobi.
The lawyer, however also faced significant criticism from a section of Kenyans who termed it selfish and opportunistic.
According to the 2010 Constitution, the electorate in a county or constituency may recall their Member of Parliament before the end of the term of the relevant House of Parliament on any of the grounds;
“When an MP is found, after due process of the law, to have violated the provisions of Chapter Six (on Integrity) of the Constitution;
“Is found, after due process of the law, to have mismanaged public resources;
“Is convicted of an offence under this Act,” the Elections Act reads in part.
Notably, the petition must also be filed by a registered voter in Embakasi East to be valid, meaning Chacha would have to team up with area residents.
It is likely to face resistance as Babu is yet to be convicted to offer evidence of the afore-mentioned violations cited in the Constitution.
Surprised as his petition gained traction, Chacha began initiating contact with willing residents, noting that it offered him hope.
“The comments and reactions say a lot about who we are as people. Thank you to everyone who has shown support for this!” he stated.