Keep off politics, Sonko tells DPP Haji

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

Photo credit: File

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has asked the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) to refrain from talking about impeached governors and let the court process take its course.

Mr Sonko, who is seeking to succeed Mombasa Hassan Joho on a Wiper ticket, urged DPP Noordin Haji to keep away from politics and trying to influence the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on who is to be cleared for political seats.

"Let the courts decide. This is none of your business. You want to provoke me by your statements which will favour some of my competitors," Mr Sonko said.

Any elective position

He added: “I know you have been sent by your friends from Mombasa to influence my candidature by blackmailing me as unwanted but what I can say there is no greater power than that of God."

Mr Sonko was reacting to Mr Haji’s statement that those with integrity issues should not be allowed to vie for any elective position.

The ODPP had urged the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) to stop politicians facing integrity issues from running for office.

"The impeached governors and those stopped from accessing their office should not be allowed to run for office," the ODPP noted.

Mr Sonko (Nairobi) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) were impeached and, consequently, removed from office under Article 181 of the Constitution. Among other offences, they were accused of financial impropriety and violation of Chapter Six of the Constitution. They are running for governor seats in the August 9 General Election.

Mr Sonko is competing against Abdulswamad Nassir (ODM), former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar (UDA), Dr William Kingi (PAA) and others.

But EACC boss Twalib Mbarak has said politicians facing integrity issues could run for office.

Mr Mbarak noted that the commission has no power to bar the tainted politicians from running for office.

Integrity of a politician

"The Constitution does not provide any law compelling us to charge or take any action against politicians facing integrity issues," he said, adding that it is not easy to measure the integrity of a politician on paper.

The IEBC had given the nod to impeached governors to run for office, noting that they were eligible.

Meanwhile, Kikuyu and Mijikenda elders are worried about political utterances in Mombasa that might divide locals along tribal lines.

Kikuyu Council of Elders Mombasa chairman Henry Wanyoike said recent profiling of elective candidates along tribal lines is worrying and might incite hatred among locals.

“In recent days, we have heard some leaders referring to some who want various political seats as outsiders. This does not sound well to us who are not native,” said Mr Wanyoike.

He added: “Let anyone wishing to contest any seat do so without intimidation and we are asking Mr Sonko and Mr Nassir to tone down [their rhetoric] for the sake of Mombasa people.”

For their part, Mijikenda elders welcomed all contestants to vie for any position in the county.

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