Kenya: High Court in Mombasa Declines to Lift Orders Barring IEBC Ballot Paper Printing in Mombasa Governor Race

Mombasa — The High Court in Mombasa has refused to lift orders barring the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from gazetting and printing ballot papers for the Mombasa governor contest.

On Monday, the High Court issued conservatory orders stopping the electoral body from gazetting and printing ballot papers for Mombasa, pending hearing and determination of a case petition filed by former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko against IEBC.

Sonko is challenging the IEBC’s decision to disqualify him from the gubernatorial race.

The conservatory orders were issued by a three-judge bench consisting of Olga Sewe, Ann Ong’injo’ and Steve Githinji.

IEBC lawyer Edwin Mukele filed an application to vacate the orders, issued on Monday, arguing that they are now at crossroads.

According to Mukele, the orders issued risk delaying the August 9 polls.

He also argued that on June 24 the Wiper party submitted the name of Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo as their candidate of choice for Mombasa.

Sonko’s name was submitted as Mbogo’s running mate, pursuant to the judgment by the IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee on June 20.

IEBC Disputes Resolution Tribunal upheld a decision by the Mombasa County IEBC returning officer Swalha Yusuf disqualifying Sonko from the race.

Mukele said the governor candidate names had already been gazetted by June 30 and the ballot papers were in the process of being printed.

On Wednesday, before the hearing of the petition kicked off, Sonko’s lead lawyer Wilfred Nyamu asked the court to confirm the orders.

He argued that reviewing the orders would delay the hearing of the case, which he said was urgent and needed to be disposed of soonest.

The judges said the conservatory orders will remain in place until the case is heard and determined.

The judges said the matter will be given total priority so that they can deliver judgment on Friday.

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