Lawyer asks Chebukati to disqualify Uhuru and Ruto for committing electoral offences

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto

A lawyer has written to electoral commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati asking him to disqualify President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto from the repeat presidential race for misconduct in their campaigns.

Former Law Society of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Apollo Mboya argued that Uhuru and Ruto do not qualify to be on the ballot following a High Court ruling that they committed electoral offences by using state resources to advertise government achievements in the run up to August 8 polls.

“The High Court judgment meant that as at August 8, the president and his deputy had committed election offences which need sanctions in accordance with the Elections Offences Act. There is no immunity for them, and should be barred in the repeat election,” said Mboya.

He also asked Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko to start criminal prosecution against all government officials who sanctioned the creation of a government delivery portal to advertise Jubilee’s government achievements in the last four years.

Mr Mboya further notified Auditor General Edward Ouko to investigate the amount of money spent by the government to advertise its achievement with a purpose of recovering the funds.

High Court Judge Chacha Mwita last week ruled that the Kenya Government Delivery Portal launched by Uhuru and Ruto in April to advertise various projects undertaken by the National Government was unlawful and a violation of Section 14 of the Elections Offences Act.

The portal was used by the government to run various media campaigns to showcase their achievements since 2013.

Apart from declaring that the advertisements were irregular, illegal and unlawful; Justice Mwita issued a permanent order stopping the government from further running the programmes in any media channel or displaying the contents in public places during the election period.

According to the judge, it was clear the government launched the delivery portals during the campaign periods and wondered why they had to do that while aware of the law governing election campaigns.

“The government may want to showcase the success of projects undertaken during its term, and there would be nothing wrong with that. However, the law is clear that once election period is declared, there cannot be such showcasing using public resources,” said Mwita.

He ruled that laws are enacted to regulate human conduct including that of government and that the Jubilee government violated those laws by using public resources to campaign. The judge said his decision was to protect public resources to ensure they are not misused for political gain.

Mr Mboya based his letter on the judgment, and asked the IEBC chairman to invoke Section 14 (6) and 24 (3) of the Election Offences Act to disqualify Uhuru and Ruto.

Section 14 (6) says that any person who commits an election offence is liable for a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or jail term of up to six years. Section 24 (3) on the other hand says that a person convicted of commiting an election offence cannot be eligible to vie for any elective seat.