Another blow to Sonko as court issues fresh orders barring his Mombasa governorship bid

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during his impeachment debate last year. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s woes continued after the High Court in Nairobi issued another order stopping him from vying in the August 9 election.

Justice Anthony Mrima issued the order stopping the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from receiving, considering, evaluating or approving the nomination papers by Sonko vie for the position of Mombasa Governor.

“The commission is also restrained from publishing in the Kenya Gazette the nomination of Mike Mbuvi Gideon Sonko as a candidate for Mombasa gubernatorial election pending determination of the suit,” ruled Mrima.

Justice Mrima further forwarded the file to Chief Justice Martha Koome to appoint a three-judge bench to consolidate and determine the three other petitions filed in Eldoret and Mombasa challenging Sonko’s eligibility to contest.

The petition in Nairobi was filed by Mukidi Jwenge and Anderson Warui who claimed they are registered voters in Mombasa who will be affected should Sonko be allowed to contest in the election after being impeached as Nairobi governor.

Through lawyer Mwangi Ndegwa, the petitioners claimed that Sonko’s impeachment in December 2020 meant that he was guilty of breaching the constitution and therefore not fit to stand for any elective position.

“The resolution of the Senate removing Sonko from office of the governor by way of impeachment affirmed the grounds that he breached the constitution and is not fit to be cleared for any elective post,” said Ndegwa.

Ndegwa argued that the impeachment by the Nairobi County Assembly which was affirmed by the Senate meant that Sonko was guilty of gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct and other crimes under the law.

He claimed that Sonko’s sponsoring party, Wiper Democratic Movement, had indicated that they will present his name to the IEBC on May 28 for approval to contest the Mombasa governorship position in total contravention of provisions on leadership and integrity.

“Having been removed from office of the governor of Nairobi after being found to have demeaned the office, and having failed to exercise the values and principles of good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability, Sonko is unfit to hold any state office,” said Ndegwa.

He added that Sonko cannot claim that he is innocent when both the High Court and the Court of Appeal upheld his impeachment which confirms he is guilty of misconduct and ineligible to contest the governorship position in any county.

The petitioners argued that even if Sonko is cleared and wins the Mombasa governorship seat, he cannot assume office on account that his impeachment was valid.

The two petitioners in their affidavits swore that as voters in Mombasa, they are likely to be duped into electing a candidate who is unfit to hold public offices and suffer the consequences of their choice after the August 9 elections.