Judges picked in impeachment suits


Judicial Service Commission chair Martha Koome. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Chief Justice Martha Koome has picked three judges to determine whether persons who have been impeached will be allowed to vie in the August polls.

The CJ appointed Justices David Majanja, Chacha Mwita and Mugure Thande to determine the petitions filed against ex-Nairobi governor Mike Sonko and UDA nominee for Kiambu senate seat Karungo wa Thang'wa.

Both were impeached and their plans to contest for the Mombasa gubernatorial and Kiambu senate seats respectively were put on hold following the petitions.

Three petitions have been filed against Mr Sonko in Mombasa and Eldoret and the files were forwarded to Justice Koome for directions.

In Mombasa, Ndoro Kayuga and George Odhiambo want the High Court to find that having been impeached in Nairobi, Mr Sonko is disqualified from holding any other State office.

According to the petitioners, Mr Sonko, any governor or person who has been dismissed or removed from office by impeachment but has declared interest or has been nominated to be elected in any state office, has violated the constitution.

Another petition has been filed by Haki Yetu, Kituo cha Sheria and Transparency International, seeking the disqualification of Mr Sonko from holding any other state office.

Deputy registrar of the constitutional and human rights division of the High Court Njeri Thuku said the judges will give directions on the hearing of the case in due course.

The lobby groups argue that the Constitution provides that the authority assigned to a state officer is that of public trust and must be exercised in a manner that demonstrates respect for the people, brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office and promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office.

They further argue that Mr Sonko has expressed his intention to contest and vie for governor of Mombasa and has been nominated by Wiper party, despite being disqualified by Article 75 (3) of the Constitution from holding any other state office.

Another petition was filed by Mr Silvester Kipkemoi in Eldoret arguing that Mr Sonko and former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu should not be allowed to vie.

A separate case was filed by Katiba Institute and Kenya Human Rights Commission, seeking to bar Mr Thang’wa from vying the Kiambu senate seat, after he was impeached by the Kiambu county assembly for gross misconduct while serving as a chief executive officer.

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