The Mombasa High Court has rejected a petition to declare Governor Hassan Joho unfit for office. The court decision upholds the integrity of Kenya’s electoral process and ensures that citizens have faith in their government.
Mr Joho and two senior country officials face accusations of violating the constitution in a petition arising from a dispute with an insurance firm. The company accuses the county of disobeying a court order to pay a pending bill.
Justice John Mativo dismissed a preliminary objection filed by Mr Joho, Ms Asha Abdi (Finance chief officer) and Ms Mariam Mbaruk (Finance executive) against the petition by Disney Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Also dismissed by the court was an application by county attorney Jimmy Waliaula that sought to have the petition against him dismissed or his name struck out.
Justice Mativo ruled that the alleged breach of constitution as highlighted in the petition by Disney Insurance warrants determination on merit.
“The draconian orders sought in the objection and the application are totally unmerited,” Justice Mativo said.
The judge noted that courts are constitutionally obligated to adopt an approach that prefers determination of cases on merit as opposed to procedural technicalities. He added that striking out a pleading is a drastic step that should only be resorted to in circumstances where a pleading is incurably defective.
Mr Joho and his assistants are arguing that these charges fall under the jurisdiction of an Ethics Committee.
“With regard to all other complaints and allegations under the Public Service (Values and Principles) Act No 1 of 2015, adequate redress is provided by mechanisms provided for under Section 13 of the Act,” stated part of the preliminary objection.