An NGO and two residents of Kilifi County have filed a petition seeking to have Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa barred from vying for the Kilifi governor’s seat over alleged lack of a university degree.
Concern Citizen Kenya, Mr Rajab Menza and Mr Daniel Chengo want a conservatory order issued, restraining the electoral agency from accepting and processing nomination papers of Ms Jumwa and clearing and gazetting her to contest for the governor’s position.
In their petition filed at the High Court in Mombasa on Thursday, they argue that Ms Jumwa does not meet the minimum qualifications to be nominated to contest for the seat of governor, therefore, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should be directed not to clear her.
“The petitioners contend that in support of her nomination bid and clearance, Ms Jumwa did not produce valid and genuine academic documents including a degree certificate from a recognised university,” part of the petition states.
According to the petitioners who have also sued the Commission for Higher Education and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, a bail assessment report filed in court on October 22, 2020 confirmed that Ms Jumwa has never been awarded with a degree certificate.
The petitioners argue that the residents of Kilifi will be disenfranchised if Ms Jumwa is irregularly and illegally cleared to contest for the seat without meeting requisite qualifications set in law.
“The first respondent (Ms Jumwa) having chosen to offer herself as a candidate is, therefore, bound by the provisions of the Constitution, the Elections Act, the Elections Offences Act and the Election Code of Conduct as published by IEBC,” part of the petition states.
It argues that IEBC ought to satisfy itself that every person intending to be a candidate in an election has either met the required threshold or minimum qualifications in order to be declared to run for the seat.
The petitioners also want a declaration that Ms Jumwa, as nominated by the United Democratic Alliance party, does not meet the minimum qualifications to be cleared by the IEBC to contest for the seat of governor Kilifi county because she does not hold a degree from a university recognized in the country.
They also want a declaration that Ms Jumwa does not meet the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution regarding leadership and integrity, specifically Article (75) (1).
In the meantime, the petitioners want an interim order issued restraining IEBC from processing the nomination papers of Ms Jumwa, gazetting and further clearing her to contest for the seat of governor, Kilifi county, pending hearing and determination of the petition.