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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Thuo Mathenge in last-minute push to secure Nyeri Jubilee ticket

Nyeri politician Thuo Mathenge during the hearing of his petition against the late governor Nderitu Gachagua. /FILE
Nyeri politician Thuo Mathenge during the hearing of his petition against the late governor Nderitu Gachagua. /FILE

Nyeri governor hopeful Thuo Mathenge is pushing a last–minute bid to contest as a Jubilee candidate in the August 8 general elections.

Mathenge was issued with a nomination certificate on June 2. A week later, the party’s dispute committee rejected his candidature on grounds that his degree obtained from a Uganda university is questionable.

Through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, the businessman said the decision revoking his nomination when he had already been cleared was a violation of his rights.

In an application filed at Milimani law court Monday, Mathenge said one of the rights he enjoys is the political right to contest for any elective public office.

"My enjoyment of that right cannot be taken away by the IEBC and without affording me the basic right to be heard," he said in an affidavit.

The politician’s woes began in 2013 when he challenged former Governor Nderitu Gachagua's victory.

After hearing the dispute, the court eventually upheld Gachagua's win and discredited Mathenge's degree certificate.

"The petitioner did not attend classes at Fairland University and therefore the degree certificate awarded to him was not validly awarded," Justice James Wakiaga said at that time.

"...Thuo Mathenge was not eligible to run for the office of governor."

Mathenge, who has already declared that he will contest as an independent, said the issue about his academic papers was closed.

He acknowledged that the courts questioned the circumstances under which he obtained his degree in Uganda but noted he was investigated and cleared.

The politician further noted that after a probe, the DPP did not find sufficient evidence to prove his papers were not genuine.

He wants the court to suspend Jubilee Party's decision to revoke his certificate pending the hearing of his application.

"Whereas there is no prejudice suffered by the respondent if the orders sought are granted, I will suffer irreparable loss and damages if the illegal decision is not halted," he said.

Mathenge also wants the court to compel Jubilee to ensure his name appears on the ballot.

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