A Mombasa court has dismissed a petition seeking to block Mombasa Governor-elect Abdulswamad Nassir from being sworn in.
Abdulswamad’s swearing-in ceremony was scheduled to take place on Thursday and will now proceed on Friday as planned.
While dismissing the petition, Judge Anne Ong’injo said the petitioner named Andrew Ombwayo failed to serve other parties in the case who stood to be affected by the order.
“It is therefore the view of this court that before any far-reaching orders are issued, the parties ought to be given an opportunity to respond to the petition, which should then be disposed [of] as per the directions of the court,” Ong’injo said.
Ombwayo said Mombasa residents were denied the opportunity to elect their leaders from a wide range of contestants.
“By locking out Mr Sonko from contesting, Mombasa residents were denied the opportunity to elect their leaders from an array of qualified contestants, which in turn violated his political rights,” Ombwayo said.
Basing his argument on the inconsistency of Section 33 of the County Government Act No 17 of 2012 with the Constitution, Ombwayo wanted the provision of the law to be declared unconstitutional.
“That section of the County Government Act on removal of a county governor is inconsistent and renders the governors impeached invalid under Article 2 (4) of the Constitution,” he says.
He also wanted the impeachments by Nairobi County and Kiambu County to be nullified because they were done under the provision.
However, the court said Ombwayo failed to establish a strong case worthy of the conservatory orders.
The petitioner further argued that Mombasa County will not suffer any prejudice if the swearing-in was halted and there would be no vacuum in the county’s administration because the executive committee and not the governor alone exercise the county’s executive authority.
“The executive authority of the county is exercised by the county executive committee and not the governor unilaterally,” he said.
“Consequently, stopping Mr Nassir from assuming office shall not prejudice the functions of the county but shall protect the rights of the public in that county.”