Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has said his bid to be on the ballot for the Mombasa gubernatorial race is not yet over even after the Supreme Court dealt him a huge blow in his attempt to overturn his 2020 impeachment.
As Sonko was declaring that he will continue with the fight to be on the ballot, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati, while in Epang’a in Luanda, Vihiga County, said the commission will make a decision on Tuesday whether the former Nairobi governor’s name will be on the ballot.
“We (IEBC) are yet to look at the ruling of the Supreme Court. We will discuss with my team as a commission. We will look at the issues and the judgement and get back to the country on Monday or Tuesday,” said Mr Chebukati.
He addressed journalists after attending the burial ceremony of Twyla Rose, 94, his mother-in-law.
The former Nairobi governor was earlier in the week cleared to contest in the August 9 General Election before the Supreme Court on Friday upheld his impeachment of December 2020.
In their determination, the judges of the apex court held that “the impeachment of the appellant was in compliance with the constitution and the law.”
“It bears mentioning in conclusion that Chapter Six of the constitution was not enacted in vain or for cosmetic reasons. The authority assigned to a state officer is a public trust to 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. It vests in the state officer the responsibility to serve the people, rather than the power to rule them,” the judges added.
However, Sonko yesterday said that he has already applied for a review of the judgment by the Supreme Court.
Determined to clear his name, Mr Sonko is also crossing the border to the East African Court of Justice in Arusha to file an appeal of the case.
“I will be on the ballot. This matter is not yet over. People think that the Supreme Court is the last place to get justice but I am also heading to the East African Court of Justice,” Mr Sonko said yesterday during an interview with NTV.
“This is about my life and I cannot let one person ruin my political life. I deserve justice and I don’t think I have been given that in Kenya and that is what I will fight for in the East Africa Court of Justice,” Sonko said.
According to the former governor, Chief Justice Martha Koome ought not to have sat in the bench that determined his political fate, claiming that she had already publicly taken a stand on the fate of impeached public officers.
“The Chief Justice was hosted in one of the radio stations where she was categorical that I should not be on the ballot because I was impeached. By this fact alone, she should have recused herself from determining my fate,” Sonko said.
In an interview with a local radio station, Spice FM in May, Justice Koome asserted that once impeached, salvation can only come if there are court orders reversing the same.
“When you are impeached, you are impeached. When you are sentenced, you are sentenced until it is set aside,” she said.
For Sonko, this justifies his claim that the Chief Justice was biased against him.
Sonko questioned the speed at which his case was determined by the Supreme Court just two days after he was cleared by IEBC to be on the ballot.
“What was the hurry of determining the case? My voluminous documents that I presented to the court were not even looked at. I should have even been given an opportunity to defend myself,” Sonko said.
The Senate while impeaching Mr Sonko in 2020 found him guilty of plundering public resources, persistently intimidating and molesting officers of the County Executive Committee and unlawfully using public funds to pay for his daughter’s travel to New York, US.
Social media posts
He was also found guilty of charges of persistently and wilfully using, publicising and publishing abusive and unbecoming words and language as evidenced by his social media posts.
Buoyed by the ruling of the East African Court of Justice in November 2020 in the case of former Cabinet minister Martha Karua challenging the election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Mr Sonko said he is hopeful he will get justice at last.
“The problem in our country is that people think the Supreme Court ruling is the end of everything. We have a precedent set by Ms Karua and I will also follow that route,” Sonko said.
In that case, Ms Karua was awarded Sh2.8 million after the East African Justice Court found out that the Supreme Court in Kenya infringed on her rights to a fair hearing and trial.
On whether there was a deal brokered by President Uhuru Kenyatta for him to campaign for Azimio Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe, Sonko said there was nothing like that.
“I just campaigned for Mr Igathe because he is an Azimio candidate and we are all in that coalition together. I cannot leave my court cases in Mombasa to come to Nairobi to campaign for Igathe,” Sonko said.
He said he accompanied President Kenyatta to Mihang’o last week upon the request by the Head of State.
He lamented that there is unnecessary fighting in the Azimio coalition, something he warned could reduce the chances of the coalition party of winning the majority in Parliament and county assemblies.