Mike Sonko barred from running for Mombasa Governor

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. [File, Standard

The IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee has upheld a decision by IEBC to bar Mike Sonko from running for the Mombasa Governor seat.

The Committee issued the ruling at Milimani Law Courts on its last day of hearing and determining complaints filed by aspirants.

“He may be cleared in 2017 but that doesn't take away the requirement for the 2022 polls where IEBC is supposed to verify the degree certificate. Nothing has been placed to show that other aspirants weren't asked to prove academic qualification hence there is no discrimination,” the Committee ruled.

IEBC returning officer Swalaha Yusuf said Sonko does not meet Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity following his December 2020 impeachment by the Nairobi City County Assembly members. She said Sonko had no court orders to compel IEBC to clear him as reported by a section of the media.

The Committee argued that Sonko presented his original University Degree certificate and a certified copy of the Degree certificate when it was already late on June 7 which was the deadline for clearance of all Governorship candidates and should have done that earlier to be on the safe side

The Committee said that the fact that Sonko was impeached by the Senate of Kenya followed by a gazette notice of December 18, 2020, he was disqualified from holding any public office which was one of the grounds for not clearing him to contest in the August general election by IEBC. 

Sonko and the Wiper Party were represented in the matter by a team of at least 10 advocates led by veteran Lawyer John Khaminwa, Wilfred Nyamu and Makueni MP Dan Maanzo among others who all expressed shock over the judgement which they termed as unfair to the people of Mombasa County.

"We did not expect such an outcome from this committee since we believed it would be fair to our client, we will be moving to the High Court in the morning to challenge this decision in order to ensure that the people of Mombasa are able to elect the Governor that they want," said Khaminwa.

Nyamu engaged the committee panel in a war of words demanding a copy of the judgement with Wambua telling him it would be ready tomorrow since it had some errors that needed to be rectified before it was shared with them.

The advocate said it was ridiculous that the committee was not ready to give out a copy of the judgement which had already leaked out 10 hours earlier vowing that they will not leave the court precincts without it since they wanted to be in the High Court early in the morning so that they are not told they were late in filing their appeal.

Sonko arrived at Milimani Courts a few minutes past 10 pm as the Committee was concluding its 10-day hearing for 262 complaints from Members of the County Assembly to the Presidential candidates across the country terming the ruling as predetermined and unfair.

" We knew something fishy was going on when the IEBC Disputes Resolution Committee kept shifting the ruling on this matter from Saturday to Sunday and Monday where we have been kept waiting for 10 hours only for the judgement to be delivered at night," said Sonko.

Maanzo said the Wiper Party is going to pursue the matter to the end since the people of Mombasa wanted Sonko as their next Governor with some influential people hell-bent on ensuring that this does not happen vowing to ensure they are defeated.

A number of Sonko female supporters who claimed to be from Mombasa wailed after the judgement was delivered saying that the former Governor had turned the lives of many people in the Coastal city for the better and they could not afford not to have him as their next county boss.

Sonko is seeking to succeed incumbent Hassan Joho in the August 9 election.

“He produced his documents on the last day giving him a disadvantage on rectifications. He could have produced his documents before the deadline to have time for any corrections.

The committee notes that he was impeached by the Senate of the Republic of Kenya. The letter by Supreme Court was not produced to the commission during the time of clearance. Disqualification is premised on solid grounds,” the Committee ruled.

Moments after the petition was dismissed, Sonko said he will appeal the matter in the High Court.

The Committee also ruled that Wiper Party has the right to nominate another Mombasa governorship candidate within 72 hours for possible clearance.