Kenya: 2 Voters in Court to Challenge Jumwa's Suitability to Run for Kilifi Governor

Mombasa — Two voters from Kilifi County have moved to the High Court in Mombasa to petition the validity of Aisha Jumwa's academic qualifications.

Jumwa is seeking to be the governor of Kilifi County on the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket.

The petitioners, Rajab Menza and Daniel Chengo are residents and registered voters in Bamba, Kilifi County.

The duo is pursuing a judicial review challenging the decision by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to clear Jumwa as a gubernatorial candidate, ahead of the forthcoming elections, despite the aspirant allegedly lacking a university degree.

The two petitioners, who are being represented by Counsel Derrick Odhiambo, said they opted to go for the judicial review rather than to the IEBC elections dispute tribunal, saying the electoral body had no capacity to grant them justice.

They want to stop the Malindi Constituency MP from being gazetted to be on the ballot paper in the August 9 polls.

"We opted to file for a judicial review because we doubted if the IEBC disputes tribunal would give us justice. The tribunal admitted Sunday that they have no authority and rights to investigate an aspirant's academic papers," said Menza.

In a sworn affidavit under certificate of urgency, they questioned the clearance of Jumwa alleging she lacks a university degree.

"We want the court to determine the truth with regards to Aisha Jumwa's academic qualifications now that she is vying for the gubernatorial seat in Kilifi County. We want to be led by an educated and ethical person," Menza said.

The duo argued that according to documents in their possession, Jumwa is a former school dropout leaving them with more questions than answers as to how she allegedly obtained a university degree.

They rebutted claims they have a personal vendetta against her pointing out that their concern is whether her documents were genuine and authentic or not.

"I have no personal grudge against her because I am not a politician. I'm a businessman and I have no interest in politics. However, I would like to see the truth and justice prevail otherwise we will be discouraging our children from studying," Menza said.

The two said they took time to ascertain their claims, hence their relatively late petition.

After their investigations, they said, they had verified that the outspoken MP has no university degree, which is a requirement for all gubernatorial candidates in Kenya.

The court is expected to issue directions on the case Tuesday. - Kna

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