Sonko supporters dejected by top court ruling, rivals celebrate
The Supreme Court’s decision to block former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko from running for the same seat in Mombasa has dampened the spirit of his supporters.
Sonko, who is known for his philanthropy, had excited some voters in the coastal county where he had transferred his Sonko Rescue Team.
The flamboyant politician, who has filed a petition against the Supreme Court’s ruling at the East Africa Court of Justice, had started to endear himself to residents by helping bereaved families carry bodies of their relatives for burial.
Recent turn of events, including the upholding of his impeachment by the apex court last Friday, has drawn mixed reactions.
To his supporters, this means they will have to go back to the drawing board, while to his opponents, it is time to celebrate.
Mombasa politics had taken a shift after Sonko was allowed by the High Court to contest in the next election but also cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Pundits say the Mombasa contest now goes back to being a two-horse race pitting Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir of ODM and UDA’s Hassan Omar.
Sonko now says he will move to the East Africa Court of Justice to seek a review of the Supreme Court ruling that upheld his impeachment.
His declaration on Saturday came even as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said it would make its stand known on his governor candidature next week.
“We have filed for a review before the same Supreme Court and we have also filed before the East Africa Court of Justice,” Sonko said.
On Friday last week, judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome, said Sonko was properly removed from office since the impeachment proceedings before the County Assembly and the Senate were properly conducted.
This means IEBC will have to recall its decision to clear him for the Mombasa governorship election based on provisions of Article 75(3) of the Constitution. The provision bars a person impeached from a public office from holding any other State office.
But Sonko said the EACJ is recognised under the Kenyan Constitution and has jurisdiction to hear his appeal.