A lawyer affiliated to the National Super Alliance (Nasa) has asked the electoral commission to disqualify President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto from the election because they broke the law when they launched the Kenya Government Delivery Portal.
Apollo Mboya, in a letter to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati, said that the two committed election offences by launching the portal.
He bases his argument on the ruling by Justice Enock Chacha Mwita last week that the use of the portal to advertise the government’s achievements over the past four years in unlawful and in breach of the Election Offences Act.
Mr Mboya also cited Sections 14 (6) and 24 (3) of the Act, which provide for someone convicted of publicising achievements of the government to get votes to pay a maximum Sh6 million fine or be jailed for a maximum six years or to suffer both penalties.
A person convicted of an offence under the Election Offences Act would also not be eligible for election or nomination for five years after the date of conviction.
“This therefore means that as at August 8, the President and his Deputy had committed Election Offences inviting the sanctions contained in the provisions of sections 14(6) and 24(3) of the Election Offences Act. The same remains true for the fresh elections scheduled for October 26 or any other election that the President and Deputy President present their candidature. There is no immunity under the Act,” he says in his letter dated October 24, 2017.
Mr Mboya’s argument could, however, collapse on the basis that neither the President nor his deputy have been convicted of the offences he cited.
A former secretary of the Law Society of Kenya, Mr Mboya was the Opposition’s legal consultant in the Joint Select Committee that last year prepared changes to the electoral laws and paved the way for the resignation of the IEBC officials, including former Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan.
A Bill seeking to remove the section that forbids a candidate from using the achievements of the government to campaign has been introduced in the National Assembly but is yet to be approved.
The IEBC is yet to respond to Mr Mboya’s letter.