Petition Seeks to Block Sonko From Vying in Mombasa

  • Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko joins the Azimio coalition and he is received by Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka as a WDM-K life member on Friday, March 25, 2022.
    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko joins the Azimio coalition and he is received by Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka as a WDM-K life member on Friday, March 25, 2022.
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    Kalonzo Musyoka
  • Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko is facing fresh hurdles in his bid to succeed Governor Ali Hassan Joho as the next Mombasa County boss.

    This follows a petition filed in court by two voters on Monday, April 25 seeking to block his gubernatorial bid on the Wiper Party ticket.

    The petitioners argue that Sonko is disqualified from holding public office, following his impeachment by Members of the Nairobi County Assembly, a decision that was later upheld by the Senate.

    "The 1st Respondent, having been impeached and removed from the office of the Governor of Nairobi City County, is disqualified from vying for and being elected into the office of the Governor of Mombasa County and from holding any other State office by virtue of Article 75 (3) of the Constitution," reads the petition in part.

    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
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    The petitioners further argue in their documents submitted in court that the decision by the Wiper Party led by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to nominate Sonko was a violation of the Constitution.

    They are pushing to have Sonko's gubernatorial bid halted and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) barred from clearing him to contest in Mombasa.

    "The 1" Respondent and the 1st Respondent's decision to accept the nomination despite being disqualified by the Constitution is in violation of the Petitioners' constitutional rights to free, fair and regular elections as guaranteed by Article 38 (2) of the Constitution," further reads the petition.

    They further argue that Sonko will not suffer any prejudice if blocked from contesting in Mombasa in the upcoming polls.

    The former county boss was impeached by the Nairobi County Assembly in December 2020. The impeachment was based on allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office.

    Almost 16 months later, Sonko revived his political ambitions after Wiper handed him a direct ticket to vie for the Mombasa governorship in a brief ceremony that was presided by Kalonzo among other Wiper party leaders.

    The question of integrity test arose after his bid to challenge his ouster was quashed by the Court of Appeal, but filed another petition to have the matter determined by the Supreme Court of Kenya. 

    However, according to constitutional lawyer Bobby Mkangi who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke, Sonko is still open to vying for a political seat if he is yet to exhaust all forms of appeal on his case.

    "Yes, the constitution says that if a public officer has been previously been removed from office because of misconduct, then he or she is disqualified. However that removal should decision needs to have been optimally challenged," he noted.

    In the race to succeed Joho who is serving his second and final term after being elected the pioneer governor of Mombasa in 2013, Sonko is expected to square it out with former Senator Hassan Omar, who will run on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket, and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir who is the ODM candidate.

    However, should Sonko be cleared to vie, it would expose the Azimio-OKA to sibling rivalry with ODM and Wiper being members of the Coalition.

    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko on Friday September 10
    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko on Friday, September 10
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