Governor-elect Samboja's inaguration to go on despite hitches

Saturday August 19 2017

Lawyer Samuel Gichigi (left) with his client Armstrong Mwandoo Kivoi

Lawyer Samuel Gichigi (left) and his client Armstrong Mwandoo Kivoi leave court on August 18, 2017 where they had sought to stop the inaguration of Taita Taveta Governor-elect Granton Samboja. They were not successful. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PHILIP MUYANGA
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A voter has lost a bid to stop the swearing-in of Taita-Taveta Governor-elect Granton Samboja.

On Friday, Mr Armstrong Mwandoo Kiwoi sought for conservatory orders to block Mr Samboja from being inagurated on Monday, pending hearing and determination of the application and petition.

DENIED
Mr Kiwoi claims that the governor-elect is inelligible because he has not met educational and ethical qualifications.

He also sued the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Attorney General Githu Muigai and the county as respondents.

Mombasa High Court judge Eric Ogola rejected the request.

"While this court can stop the swearing in, the time factor is so short. I cannot deny the respondent a right to be sworn in as Governor without hearing him," Judge Ogola said.

RULE OF LAW
Judge Ogola said that Mr Samboja deserves to be heard.

"Upon the first respondent (Mr Samboja) being elected Governor, he immediately acquired a right to be sworn in.

"The right to be sworn in is protected by the law and cannot be taken away without hearing the Governor," he added.

EACC
Mr Kiwoi is also seeking a permanent injunction preventing Mr Samboja from being sworn-in and contesting in any General Election for the position of Governor without meeting educational and ethical qualifications.

Kenyatta University and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission have also been named as interested parties in the suit.

The EACC had filed a case questioning Mr Samboja’s qualifications.

"The university dismissed reports he obtained an undergraduate degree in 2009," the EACC said.

HEARING

Mr Samboja claims to hold a certificate in Project Management, Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Kenyatta University.

The matter will be heard on September 18 in Voi.