Wiper party makes U-turn on Sonko’s bid

Wiper had replaced Sonko with Ali Mbogo

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Mike Sonko

Confusion has emerged after Wiper party made a U-turn on its earlier decision to withdraw Mike Sonko from the Mombasa gubernatorial race and replace him with Kisauni Member of Parliament, Ali Mbogo.

The party has now moved to court, seeking to have Sonko back in the race after IEBC failed to act on its initial request to have Mbogo join the race.

Through its lawyer, Eunice Lumallas, Wiper party argued that despite submitting a letter to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission nominating Ali Mbogo on June 24, the commission did not act on the same.

Lumallas told the court that Mr Mbogo’s name was presented to the electoral body on June 24, but there had been no response, acknowledgement or gazettement of the names it submitted, nor was it asked to present any documents for the nominees only for the commission to turn back and say that the names submitted were time-barred.

“At 10.07 today (Wednesday), we received a letter from IEBC purported to have been drafted on June 30, indicating the names submitted were time-barred,” Ms Lumallas told a three-judge bench comprising justices Olga Sewe, Stephen Githinji and Ann Ong’injo on Wednesday.

IEBC, through its lawyer Edwin Mukele argued out that Sonko’s nomination to join the race has been overcome by events as the Wiper party had already replaced him with another candidate (Mbogo) hence an order sought by the former Nairobi governor to bar the party from nominating another candidate other than himself has been overtaken by events.

IEBC also told the court that while the commission had a duty to receive the letter nominating Mbogo as its candidate, doing so does not imply that the candidate has been cleared as there are processes to be followed afterwards before a candidate is cleared to contest.

The IEBC lawyer told the court that Wiper party failed to comply with orders to nominate another candidate within 72 hours to replace Sonko and added that the former Nairobi governor did not comply with the requirements that he provides his original degree with its certified copy.

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