MP Ordered to Pay Lobby Group Kes500,000 for Challenging LGBTQ Ruling

June 5, 2024

Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma is mandated to pay a lobby group Kes500,000 for challenging the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing gays and lesbians to form an association.

In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court refused to overturn its earlier decision and ordered Kaluma to pay Eric Gitari, the former Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC).

The court found that Kaluma filed his review application too late, challenging the registration of the association recognizing the LGBTQ+ community in Kenya.

Five Supreme Court Judges, led by Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, rejected Kaluma’s plea to challenge the Deputy Registrar’s decision to assess the costs of the appeal he lost on September 12, 2023, which allowed the registration of the LGBTQ+ association.

The court ordered Kaluma to pay Gitari Kes.500,000 for the time wasted and expenses incurred during the hearing of his review suit. Additionally, Kaluma must pay Kes.200,000 for the cost of the appeal.

While dismissing Kaluma’s appeal, the judges criticized him for filing his application outside the stipulated timelines.

“Kaluma has not provided a good reason for not challenging the deputy Registrar’s ruling within the statutory timelines. He has also not met any of the conditions to convince this court to exercise its discretion in his favor,” the Supreme Court Judges ruled.

Kaluma’s Appeal To Supreme Court

MP Kaluma approached the apex court on January 10, 2024, arguing that he was not served with a ruling notice by the Deputy Registrar and only learned of the decision when Gitari’s lawyer texted him demanding Kes.500,000, after the statutory seven-day timeline for filing a reference to challenge the ruling had already lapsed on November 14, 2023.

Kaluma urged the apex court to grant him more time to challenge the deputy Registrar’s ruling, but his request was rejected.

Justices Mwilu, Njoki Ndung’u, Smokin Wanjala, William Ouko, and Mohamed Ibrahim found that Kaluma was not truthful, as court records revealed that he was served with the disputed ruling through his official email address on November 6, 2023, at 17:19 hours.

“We note that there have been numerous correspondences from the court to Kaluma via his email address. Notably, there was correspondence on September 12, 2023, and November 6, 2023,” stated the Judges.

The bench noted that since March 9, 2023, there was no indication that Kaluma’s email address had changed.

“There is no doubt in our minds that the email address in question belongs to the applicant. We conclude that Kaluma was indeed aware and was served with the impugned ruling,” the Supreme Court Judges said.

In September last year, the Supreme Court rejected Kaluma’s review application seeking to overturn its earlier decision that the NGLHRC must be allowed to register as a non-governmental organization (NGO), ruling that the application lacked merit and imposing costs.

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