By JUDY OGUTU
Barring an appeal, five contenders for the presidency now face the likely prospect of having to justify their bids for State House in court.
This follows a decision by the High Court to accept the inclusion of the names of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi in a suit seeking to bar Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto from the contest. Petitioners in the case want Raila, Kalonzo and Mudavadi to refute several allegations touching on their suitability for political office or else be barred from the race for State House.
Initially, the three petitioners only sought to derail the campaigns of Uhuru and Ruto, but changed their mind a fortnight ago when they asked the High Court to amend the suit papers to include the other three presidential candidates.
High Court judge, Justice Isaac Lenaola approved the amendments to the initial suit by Mr Patrick Njuguna, Mr Augustino Netto, Mr Charles Omanga and others and fixed the hearing date for September 27.
Justices Lenaola, Mohamed Warsame and Philomena Mwilu will hear the case.
The petitioners want the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) barred from accepting nominations for election of the five who have expressed interest in vying for presidency.
They are asking the court to order the five Presidential hopefuls to provide information, documents and other relevant materials “to assist them and the court” to make inquiry, publicly examine, cross-examine and assess the eligibility and their competence.
According to them, Raila did not undertake and formally complete primary school education and does not have a valid certificate.
“He has not stated or shown that he ever completed that stage,” the petitioners claim.
They also want the Registrar of University of Nairobi to provide a file in respect of