Thursday, January 26, 2012



Updated 15 hr(s) 49 min(s) ago

The quest for presidency by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP, William Ruto is now facing opposition.By Judy Ogutu
Three voters - Mr Patrick Njuguna, Mr Augustino Netto, Mr Charles Omanga, Kenya Youth Parliament and Kenya Youth League have moved to court seeking orders to bar the candidates from contesting for presidency.
In a suit filed at the High Court in Nairobi, the petitioners say allowing Uhuru and Ruto to run for public office would be a recipe for chaos.
The three have sued Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai.
They have named Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Commissionon of Implementation of the Constitution as interested parties to the suit.
Through their advocate, Mr Anthony Oluoch, they argue that allowing the two to run for presidency would also amount to perpetuating a culture of impunity.
They are also seeking orders to bar IEBC from accepting nomination or election of any candidate accused of committing serious offences under the International law or Kenyan law until they are cleared.
Public interest
The petitioners also argue that the candidature of Uhuru and Ruto is a threat to the Constitution.
They want the court to determine whether the decision by the two to vie for presidency, despite confirmation of charges against them in The Hague-based court, would be a threat to the Constitution.
Further, they want the court to determine whether presumption of innocence in favour of the two persons overrides the overwhelming public interest to ensure protection and upholding the principles of the Constitution.
The petitioners want the court to declare that presumption of innocence of the two does not override public interest. The petition comes after ICC confirmed charges against Uhuru, Ruto and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang.
The ICC’s majority ruling was made by Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser on Monday.
Judge Hans-Peter Kaul dissented, saying the crimes did not meet the threshold of the international court.
He was of the opinion that Kenya can handle the cases.
During the 2007/2008 post-election violence more than 1,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.
The petitioners argue that the Constitution has placed specific requirements or standards for public office holders, among them high level integrity.
They contend that that each individual seeking public office or aspiring to be President in Kenya must pass the integrity test as per the Constitution.
Although the Rome Statute does not prevent the two from vying for any elective post, they petitioners say if allowed it would go against the Constitution.
According to Article 73 (2) (b) of the Constitution, the guiding principles of leadership and integrity include election/selection to office on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability.
Others are objectivity, impartiality in decision making and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism favoritism other improper motives and corrupt practices.
The petitioners want the case to be certified urgent and the matter referred to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to constitute a bench to hear the matter.
The case comes up today (Thursday).