Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has joined the race for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat.
The Wiper Democratic Movement submitted Sonko’s name to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as among those cleared to participate in the party primaries.
The former Nairobi County boss will battle it out with Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo, who is also seeking the Wiper ticket.
The winner will face off with former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, who has been given the direct ticket for UDA.The ODM ticket is a battle between Mvita MP Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir and Mombasa billionaire Suleiman Shabal.
Sonko was officially welcomed to Wiper by party leader Kalonzo Musyoka on March 25, with his team hinting that he was considering plans to reclaim his seat as Nairobi County boss.
His eligibility to run for an elective seat remains contentious given that the constitution advocates for the disqualification of aspirants found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office.
However, speaking to a Kenyans.co.ke journalist, constitutional lawyer Bobby Mkangi noted that Sonko still was still open to vie for governor. Mkangi explained that the ex-governor can still contest if he is yet to exhaust all forms of appeal on his case.
“Yes, the constitution says that if a public officer has been previously been removed from office because of misconduct, then he or she is disqualified. However that removal should decision needs to have been optimally challenged, he noted.
While Sonko’s bid to challenge his removal from office was thrown out by the Court of Appeal, he filed a petition to have the matter be determined by the Supreme Court of Kenya.
With his appeal yet to be decided, the Constitution allows him to vie to succeed Ali Hassan Joho as the next governor of Mombasa County.
“A person is not disqualified under clause (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted,” reads