Court rejects bid to bar presidential hopefuls

September 27, 2012 4:11 pm
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A three-judge bench ruled on Thursday that the case was an abuse of the judicial process, since their names were enjoined in the suit without following due process/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – The High Court has struck out the names of Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi from a case that sought to block them from seeking the presidency.

A three-judge bench ruled on Thursday that the case was an abuse of the judicial process, since their names were enjoined in the suit without following due process.

The judges said it would be a miscarriage of justice if the petition was allowed and would be in breach of Section 159 of the Constitution which provides that justice must be done to all, irrespective of their status.

The case was filed by eight civil society activists, who were questioning the integrity of the three and that of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to vie for the highest office in the land.

The original case was filed against the Attorney General and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to bar Kenyatta and Ruto due to crimes against humanity they are facing before the International Criminal Court.

The applicants later altered their petition to enjoin Kenyatta and Ruto as respondents, but the court has struck out the amended petition but directed the applicants to serve the two with the suit papers, because they two were adversely mentioned in the original case.

The activists have nonetheless vowed to file a fresh case against the five politicians.

In the suit papers, the activists wanted the court to stop the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from accepting nomination papers for the five presidential hopefuls whose integrity is being questioned.

After filing the initial case against Kenyatta and Ruto, the applicants wanted Odinga, Mudavadi and Musyoka enjoined in the suit after linking them to various offences including land grabbing, the 1982 aborted coup and the Goldenberg scandal of the 1990s.

They wanted Odinga barred for his alleged role in the failed coup attempt in 1982, his lack of clear academic credentials and grabbing of Kisumu’s Molasses plant among others.

They had also wanted VP Musyoka blocked from vying for the country’s top seat for his alleged involvement in land grabbing.

They claimed that the VP had been found guilty of contempt of court and fraud in a high court criminal case in 1990.

The applicants later altered their petition to enjoin Kenyatta and Ruto as respondents, but the court has struck out the amended petition but directed the applicants to serve the two with the suit papers, because they two were adversely mentioned in the original case.

For Deputy Prime Minister Mudavadi, the activists based their objections on claims that he lied to the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry on his role in the scandal.

He is also accused of turning a blind eye to multi million shillings cemetery scandal at the City Hall while he was the Local Government Minister.

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