August 9

Impeached politicians should not run for office – Haji

Thursday, May 12th, 2022 17:49 | By
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has picked a fight with impeached politicians, promising to make sure that they do not run for office in the forthcoming August polls.

Speaking to a local radio station, Haji said that politicians who have been impeached do not have both moral and legal standing to be elected unless they are cleared by the court.

"If you are impeached, in my opinion, you are not impeached only not to run in Nairobi but it's across the country. You cannot start jumping from one county to the other with impeachment on your neck... that will not happen and as ODPP we will fight it. We might lose, but we will fight it because if you are impeached and thrown out of office, morally, legally, that individual should not be able to run for office," said Haji.

This comes as a blow to former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who was impeached in December 2020 over a myriad of accusations including gross violation of the Constitution and other laws, abuse of office, commission of crimes under the national laws and lacking the mental capability to run the county government.

Sonko recently launched a new bid for Mombasa Gubernatorial seat under Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper Party, seeking to succeed the outgoing Governor Ali Hassan Joho.

Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was also seeking to reclaim his seat under United Democratic Alliance (UDA) but failed in the party primaries, losing to Senator Kimani Wamatangi.

Regarding politicians with questionable academic certificates, Haji urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) not to clear them to run for office, if evidence is presented against them.

"The issue of certificates should be much easier to deal with. If we have the evidence, even before charging them or taking them to court, if it is presented to IEBC by EACC, then IEBC should be in a position to say 'you cannot vie because your certificate is questionable'. If they want to challenge that let them go to court but we will not clear them unless the court says so," Haji said.

Among the politicians facing integrity questions over their academic certificates include Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi. Before the 2017 elections, EACC submitted names of 106 politicians facing integrity questions, who were later cleared by IEBC.

EACC is yet to present more names this year, although IEBC has already declared that they cannot bar any politician from vying on the basis of EACC evidence, since the watchdog is not a court of law or a quasi-judicial body.

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