Supreme Court Deals Sonko Final Blow in Mombasa Race

  • Former Nairobi governor at a past function in 2016
    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a past function in 2016
    File
  • Former Nairobi governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, has suffered a major setback in his quest to run for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat after the Supreme Court dismissed a case challenging his impeachment.

    The country's highest court dismissed Sonko's appeal on grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to determine the appeal.

    The Supreme Court ruled that the impeachment proceedings before the County Assembly and the Senate were properly conducted in accordance with Article 181 of the Constitution, Section 33 of the County Governments Act and Standing Orders of the Assembly and the Senate.

    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during his impeachment hearing in December 2020.
    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during his impeachment hearing in December 2020.

    The court also ruled that the appellant was accorded adequate time and facility to respond to the charges against him both at the county assembly and in the Senate.

    Here are the 7 issues the Supreme Court ruled on:

    1. The Court lacked jurisdiction to determine the appeal. However, in view of the public interest nature of the dispute, the need for due guidance to the judicial process and to the courts below and for the sake of posterity and development of jurisprudence the Court (the majority) has decided to settle all the pertinent questions the appeal raises, instead of downing tools on account of want of jurisdiction.

    2. The impeachment proceedings before the County Assembly and the Senate were properly conducted in accordance with Article 181 of the Constitution, Section 33 of the County Governments Act and Standing Orders of the Assembly and the Senate.

    3. The appellant was accorded adequate time and facility to respond to the charges against him both at the county assembly and in the Senate.

    4. That the form of verification envisaged in the context of an impeachment motion is a signed copy of the motion by the Mover and verified by the signatures of at least a third of the members in support of the motion and not an affidavit or any form of disposition.

    5. There was sufficient public participation, the intended tabling of the motion for the impeachment of the appellant was not only advertised in a local daily newspaper with wide circulation, in response to which people submitted memoranda, but also a survey was conducted in the county in the form of questionnaires. This was in addition to the fact that the proceedings were conducted in public.

    6. There were four counts of impeachable charges against the appellant. The County Assembly, the Senate and the two 
    superior courts below were convinced that the charges were proved to the standard required in such circumstances. No error in their analysis and conclusion has been presented.

    7. In the instant situation, the people exercised their power through their democratically elected representatives to uphold and defend Chapter Six of the Constitution.

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

    This comes just a day after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared Sonko to run for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat.

    Sonko was impeached by 88 Nairobi Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) on December 3, 2020 and his impeachment upheld by the Senate.