Wiper party wants Sonko to deputise Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo for Mombasa race

Mike Sonko

Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko (left) and  Mr  Ali Mbogo.


Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Wiper party submitted a letter to the electoral agency nominating Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo as its gubernatorial candidate for Mombasa, a court heard.

Through lawyer Edwin Mukele, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) also told the court that according to the letter Mike Sonko is to deputise Mr Mbogo.

Mr Mukele was addressing a three-judge bench of the High Court after seemingly being dissatisfied with orders it had earlier issued among them temporarily barring IEBC from publishing in the Kenya Gazette candidates for the position of Governor Mombasa county.

“The letter is contained in our replying affidavit,” Mr Mukele told the bench comprising of Justices Olga Sewe, Stephen Githinji and Anne Ong’injo. 

According to the affidavit by IEBC’s Mombasa county returning officer Swalha Ibrahim, Wiper party wrote to the electoral agency in an attempt to comply with the judgment by the commission’s Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

IEBC’s DRC dismissed Mr Sonko’s complaint challenging his disqualification and gave the party 72 hours to nominate another candidate. 

“The said letter was forwarded to the third respondent (IEBC) together with the certificate of nomination for both Ali Mbogo and the petitioner (Mr Sonko),” Ms Ibrahim states in her affidavit.

Mr Mukele also told the court that that IEBC had already submitted a list of names for Governor candidates for Mombasa to the government printer.

“The list was submitted to the government printer on June 30 and was set to be published on July 1,” said Mr Mukele.

However, he was cut short by the bench from making further submissions after he alluded that in the entire country, no orders had been given stopping the commission from publishing the names of the candidates.

“If you are not satisfied with the orders then you know what to do,” Justice Sewe told Mr Mukele.

In her affidavit, Ms Swalha also wants the court to dismiss the petition by Mr Sonko terming it as frivolous and vexatious based on speculations that contradict his own evidence.

She also says that the petitioner has failed to demonstrate the alleged infringement or violation of his rights.

The court had also issued an order restraining the IEBC from printing ballot papers in respect of candidates for the Governor’s position in Mombasa.

It also restrained the Wiper party from nominating any other candidate for the position of Governor Mombasa county.

The orders were issued pending hearing and determination of a petition filed by Mr Sonko who wants a decision by Ms Ibrahim and the DRC disqualifying him as a candidate for the position of Governor Mombasa quashed. 

Justices Sewe, Githinji and Ong’injo also allowed an application by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) seeking to be joined in the proceedings as an interested party.

Through lawyer Philip Kagucia, EACC said it was necessary for it to be joined as an interested party to enable it to participate as a fact-finder institution and make a presentation of its findings before the court for determination of eligibility of Mr Sonko.

The case file had last week been forwarded to Chief Justice Martha Koome to empanel the bench to hear the petition by Mr Sonko.

In his main petition, Mr Sonko also wants an order issued against Wiper Democratic Movement party from nominating any other candidate for the position other than himself.

He says that the DRC, by upholding the decision of Ms Ibrahim that his degree and its certified copy were issued out of time while it was admitted that he had appeared before the county returning officer within the stipulated time violated the constitution.

Mr Sonko says that failure by the county returning officer to receive his original degree certificate and its certified copy was intentionally created to delay its submission past the timelines indicated.

He further accuses the DRC of dismissing the existence of a pending appeal at the Supreme Court (challenging his impeachment) despite the parties being the same.

Mr Sonko argues that the import of the timelines given by IEBC was that he was at liberty to appear before Ms Ibrahim between 2pm and 4pm (on June 7) but clearance upon appearance was not confined to the timelines.

“The allocation of the petitioner on the last day of nomination and the timelines being limited from 2pm-4pm with no chance of delay or extension was deliberately crafted to deny the petitioner the right to vie purportedly providing an excuse to Ms Ibrahim to claim disqualification on the ground of lateness,” says Mr Sonko.

He says that despite his original degree certificate and its certified copy being handed in at 3.38pm, the DRC in its finding deemed it as having been submitted out of time and purportedly upheld a non-existent requirement introduced by Ms Ibrahim for purposes of barring him from contesting in the August 9 elections.

The former Governor says that by rejecting his copy of the degree certificate, the county returning officer acted illogically and unfairly toward him thus violating his rights.

Mr Sonko also says that by rejecting his nomination papers based on Article 75 and Chapter Six of the constitution while he had a pending appeal, the county returning officer and the DRC violated the constitution.

He also argues that by creating a requirement specific to him that he presents a copy of his degree certificate certified by the issuing institution, the respondents discriminated against him contrary to the constitution and Elections (General Regulations) Act. 

“By finding that the county returning officer was justified in disqualifying the petitioner based on failure to provide the original degree and certified copy by the issuing institution, the DRC abdicated on its duty to defend, protect and promote the constitution and the rule of law,” argues Mr Sonko.

Mr Sonko also wants a declaration that he is duly qualified as a candidate for the seat of Governor Mombasa in the August 9 polls.

He also wants an order issued directed at Ms Ibrahim to accept his nomination papers submitted.

The court is expected to rule on Tuesday afternoon on whether to allow an application by two Mombasa residents who are seeking to be joined in the proceedings as interested parties.

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