SECTIONS

High Court to rule on fate of Cleophas Malala candidature tomorrow

Kakamega County Senator Cleophas Malala. [File, Standard]

Kakamega High Court will, on Friday, determine whether senator Cleophas Malala shall be gazetted as one of the governorship candidates.

If the courts allow the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to gazette his name, then he will be among six other candidates seeking to succeed outgoing county boss Wycliffe Oparanya.

Justice Patrick Otieno has also dismissed an objection by the electoral body requesting to throw away a case questioning the authenticity of Malala's academic papers.

Justice Otieno said the ruling will be made to meet the strict elections timelines.

"I will give the ruling on the orders barring IEBC from gazetting the senator in line with the tight IEBC calendar at 10 am Friday," said Otieno, Thursday afternoon.

This was after dismissing an objection by the electoral body, wanting the court to dismiss a petition by two Kakamega voters.

The two voters were seeking to restrain Malala from vying saying he has questionable academic papers.

The duo says the first-time senator and former MCA is ineligible to vie as he never graduated with a degree from United States International University Africa (USIU) and should be stopped from contesting for failing to meet the requirement of having a degree to vie for the governorship.

“While Malala alleges that he graduated from USIU in 2011, his degree certificate was printed and issued to him on August 10, 2019. This is eight years after the purported graduation, yet ordinarily, the date on a degree certificate is the day a person graduates from an institution,” they say in their petition.

“A look at USIU’s graduation list for 2011 shows that Malala did not feature among the graduates, nor did his name feature in the graduation list for 2019.”

They cite Section 22 (2) of the Election Act which dictates that "for a person to be validly nominated and thereafter cleared by the electoral commission to vie for the position of the governor, he or she must be a holder of a degree certificate from an Institution duly recognised in Kenya."

The petitioners also say the validity and legitimacy of Malala’s Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE) certificate is in dispute, “as it displays a different KNEC code from the official code issued to Friends School Kamusinga” where the senator says he sat his KCSE exam.

The duo wants the court to bar Malala from vying, noting the governor position was of high esteem and that residents of Kakamega need a leader who is qualified by the law to hold such high public office. Eight years after the purported graduation, yet ordinarily, the date on a degree certificate is the day a person graduates from an institution,” they say in their petition.

“A look at USIU’s graduation list for 2011 shows that Malala did not feature among the graduates, nor did his name feature in the graduation list for 2019.”

They cite Section 22 (2) of the Election Act which dictates that "for a person to be validly nominated and thereafter cleared by the electoral commission to vie for the position of the governor, he or she must be a holder of a degree certificate from an Institution duly recognised in Kenya."

The petitioners also say the validity and legitimacy of Malala’s Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE) certificate is in dispute, “as it displays a different KNEC code from the official code issued to Friends School Kamusinga” where the senator says he sat his KCSE exam.

The duo wants the court to bar Malala from vying, noting the governor position was of high esteem and that residents of Kakamega need a leader who is qualified by the law to hold such high public office.