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Mike Sonko locked out of Mombasa Governor race

Sonko and Karungo Thangwa barred from vying in Mombasa, Kiambu

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko barred from vying for Mombasa gubernatorial seat in 2022

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been dealt a blow after Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed to clear him to run for the Mombasa County top seat.

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IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati cited that a person who is removed from office on grounds of violating Chapter Six of the Constitution of Kenya as the main reason should not be allowed to vie for election.

Also barred by the commission is Kiambu Senator hopeful Paul Karungo Thangwa on the grounds that he had been impeached by the Kiambu County Assembly.

The IEBC boss noted that Sonko and other leaders who were earlier on impeached would also not be allowed to assume appointive roles in the government.

“The three aspirants who were impeached are disqualified from contesting. A person who is removed from office on contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution is disqualified from holding office, elective or appointed,” he remarked.

On Sonko’s disqualification, Chebukati explained: “The reason for disqualification was and remains that he was removed from office for abuse of public office. He was convicted by the court on December 15, 2011, and sentenced to three years imprisonment.”

The Commission, however, has cleared candidates vying for seats who are under investigation and in its defence noted that they can only be barred if found guilty.

“Cases of aspirants under investigation are 11; one presidential aspirant and 10 gubernatorial aspirants. They are not disqualified by law and may contest, in keeping with the presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” said Chebukati.

On aspirants who have court cases underway, IEBC clarified that they will be cleared to run for office since they have not been disqualified by law.

“In keeping with the presumption of innocence until the contrary is proved, 55 cases of aspirants undergoing active prosecution in court have not been disqualified by law and may contest in the August 9 elections as candidates,” Chebukati stated.

For those aspirants who have been convicted but with active appeals in courts of law like Sirisia MP, John Waluke, the Commission said that they will be allowed to contest.

IEBC also addressed the issue of gubernatorial aspirants with questionable academic certificates noting that there was one governor hopeful who had been ruled out from running since he didn’t have a valid degree certificate.

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