Kenya: Appellate Court Dismisses Wanjigi’s Appeal on Presidential Election

Nairobi — The Appellate Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Safina Party presidential candidate Jimi Wanjigi, in which he sued the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for refusing to clear him for the country’s top seat due to lack of a degree certificate having only presented transcripts.

According to the ruling delivered by the three-judge bench, the court heard the appeal on an expedited basis considering that the printing of ballot papers for the presidential election is scheduled to begin on or about July 15.

“This morning we heard the appeal on an expedited basis because it is common ground that the printing of ballot papers for the presidential election is scheduled to begin on or about 15th July 2022. In addition, the date for the election is strict, set as it is expressly by Article 136(2) (a) of the Constitution,” read the judgment by Justices Asike Makhandia, Kathurima M’Inoti, and Lady Justice Omondi Hellen

The court of appeal stated that the reasons for dismissal will be rendered on July 29 2022

“Having carefully considered the record of appeal, the impugned Judgment of the High Court, the memorandum of appeal, the submissions and authorities presented by Mr. Omwanza appearing with Mr. Otieno, learned counsel for the appellant; Mr. Gumbo, learned counsel for the 1st and 2nd respondents, and Mr. Ndaiga appearing with Mr. Mukele, learned counsel for the 3rd respondent, we order that this appeal be and is hereby dismissed with costs to the respondents,” they said.

The ruling comes two weeks after the High Court dismissed a petition seeking to quash the decision by IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati for failing to register the businessman as a presidential candidate in the August 9 polls.

On June 6, the IEBC declined to clear the Safina presidential candidate due to lack of a degree certificate having only presented transcripts.

According to the electoral body, Wanjigi said that he would graduate in December 2022, as per a letter from Daystar University.

Chebukati, who analyzed Wanjigi’s documents at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, further said that the Safina party did not meet the signatures requirement.

“You must bring a physical copy of your degree certificate before I clear you, we can also allow you in the remaining hours to harmonize your signatures and come back,” Chebukati said.

Wanjigi however protested the disqualification, accusing the IEBC of having a plan to reduce the number of presidential candidates to a ‘few’.

“We know exactly what’s going on and unfortunately this time you will not get away with it. There seems to be a decision that there are some who shouldn’t be on the ballot, and I am one of them,” Wanjigi said.

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