Hearing of petition challenging Aisha Jumwa’s degree hits a snag

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Petitioners in case challenging Aisha Jumwa’s degree, Mr Rajab Menza Shikara (displaying documents) and Daniel Chengo Kahindi. PHOTO/COURTESY

By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

A petition challenging the validity of a degree certificate of UDA Kilifi gubernatorial candidate Aisha Jumwa has hit a snag after the Malindi presiding judge S.M. Githingi, who was to handle the constitutional matter, is said to be on leave.

This is after Mombasa High Court judge Justice Olga Sewe, had transferred the case to Malindi High Court where it was to be heard yesterday.

Deputy Registrar at Malindi High Court D. Wasike  through a notice issued to all lawyers and litigants said S.M. Githinji is on his annual leave until July 29 this year and all matters on certificate urgency will be handled in Mombasa. But administrative matters at the court will be handled by Environment and Land Court judge Justice Lady Dr M Odeny.

Lawyer Derrick Odhiambo who is representing two voters from Kilifi County had filed a petition seeking to stop the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC] from gazetting Aisha Jumwa as a candidate for the Malindi  governor race in the forthcoming General Election for alleged lack of a university degree.

The lawyer had written a letter to the Malindi Court Registrar to place the matter under certificate of urgency and to be given priority at the Mombasa law court.

Odhiambo argued in his application  that the matter is extremely urgent because of election time line which is less than one-and-a half month away.

He argued that unless the court intervened the voters stand to suffer irreparably.

“Let the court direct the IEBC to furnish us the copy of the academic degree certificate that was used to clear Aisha within 24 hours prior to hearing and determination of the matter,” Odhiambo pointed out.

When the matter was before Justice Sewe she directed it to be transferred to Malindi and urged the application to block Aisha Jumwa from being gazetted be placed before the Malindi Presiding judge S.M. Githinji.

In a heated argument IEBC’s lawyer Soni Muthee said that the high court in Mombasa and Malindi lack the jurisdiction to hear the case.

Ms Jumwa’s lawyers Dunstan Omari and Shadrack Wamboi said that the petitioners by-passed the Malindi law courts and filed preliminary objection for interim orders.

However, lawyer Odhiambo argued in his application that  failure to be granted the order the exercise will be reduced to that of academic papers.

He  further said as far as his client is concerned it is whether the UDA governor candidate has the  academic qualification to be allowed to vie for the Kilifi gubernatorial seat to succeed incumbent Governor Amason Kingi in the coming elections.

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