Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi could require a High Court clearance to run for the presidency after a suit was filed questioning their integrity.
A group of activists who had filed a case seeking to block Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto from the State House race has filed accusations against three other presidential aspirants in what could turn out to be a high-stakes legal drama.
Two weeks ago, High Court judge Isaac Lenaola allowed the petitioners to rope in the three. The five are the leading presidential aspirants in a crowded field to succeed President Kibaki in the elections scheduled for March 4, 2013.
Eight petitioners, among them Mr Augustino Neto who has just won the ODM nominations for the Ndhiwa constituency by-election, want the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to bar permanently the five from running for the presidency.
They had earlier filed a case seeking to have Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto blocked from the presidential contest citing the charges they face at International Criminal Court over the 2007/08 post-election violence. (READ: Why Uhuru and Ruto are uneasy with Clinton visit)
But on Tuesday they added Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi to the case, raising allegations of fraud, corruption, abuse of office, nepotism and land grabbing.
“They have advocated for and presented themselves to be beyond reproach and totally untainted in their public lives. It is necessary to inquire into their past and present conduct while serving the people of Kenya in order to determine whether they fit the integrity bill,” said the activists.
They want Mr Odinga summoned to court to explain why he worked as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi without clear academic credentials, and to clarify his graduate studies at a German university.
Mr Odinga, they charge, claims he taught at the University of Nairobi between May 1970 and 1974 as a lecturer at the Department of Mechanical Engineering which, they say, is not true.
“(One) of the main reasons for joining the Prime Minister (is) taking a job as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi with questionable academic qualifications and credentials,” papers filed in court say.
They also claim that the PM did not complete primary school education and could not have qualified to proceed for secondary school and university studies. They want the Ministry of Education to provide records showing when Maranda Secondary School was started.
They also accuse the PM of directly and indirectly getting involved in events and utterances that caused the 2007/08 post-election violence. They also allege that the PM was involved in the attempted military coup of 1982.
He is further accused of collecting funds from the public while excluding them in the running of the Kisumu Molasses plant. He allegedly duped the public into contributing millions of shillings on the promise that they were buying shares in the factory.
Mr Odinga is also accused of nepotism by employing his relatives in public offices. Mr Musyoka is accused of using his office to acquire radio frequencies on December 6, 2010, for a company called Athiani Holdings Ltd owned by his wife, Pauline, and son Kennedy Kalonzo.
He is also accused of authorising the illegal sale of the embassy of Somalia in Nairobi while serving as the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
He is alleged to have executed a certificate to sanction the sale of the embassy, but the High Court nullified the sale.
The VP faces allegations of using his office to acquire public land at Masongoleni Settlement Scheme meant for squatters and another piece in Yatta originally owned by the National Youth Service, where he currently resides.
The activists also claim the VP was found guilty of contempt of court in 1990 in a decision made by Mr Justice Frank Shields.
The judge found that Mr Musyoka was involved in a serious and appalling fraud in a land transaction in a ruling that committed him and his partner in Musyoka and Wambua Advocates, to civil jail.
He is further accused of serving as a director of Access Insurance Company which collapsed with millions of shillings belonging to policy holders.
On Mr Mudavadi, the petitioners accuse him of committing perjury during the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry by misleading the commission on his role in the scandal. They also allege that he grabbed land owned by the City Council of Nairobi at Woodley Estate Nairobi.
The activists claim that the United Democratic Forum presidential aspirant presided over massive loss of funds at Nairobi City Council when he served as the minister for Local Government.
He is also accused of having a hand in the post-election violence while serving as ODM deputy party leader in addition to failing to declare his wealth as required by law.
The petitioners have also asked the court to order the relevant government departments to provide the records in regard to the land issues of Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi.
They want the court to determine and give a constitutional interpretation on whether the three leaders have met the integrity threshold to run for and hold the office of president.
The activists say that it is important for the three leaders to be investigated, examined and scrutinised by the court because the provisions of the Constitution on leadership and integrity require leaders to undergo deep public and legal scrutiny.
The hearing of the case is scheduled for September 27 before three judges.