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5 judges to hear Raila, Uhuru integrity case

Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY CAROLE MAINA

Chief justice Willy Mutunga has appointed five judges to hear three cases questioning the integrity of presidential candidates and their running mates.

The CJ has directed judges Mbogholi Msagha, Luka Kimaru, Hellen Omondi, George Kimondo  and Pauline Nyamweya to hear and determine the cases filed by International Centre for Peace and Conflict , Kenya Human Rights Commission, International Commission of Jurists and activist Charles Mwangi.

The bench headed by justice Msagha will be hear the matters  beginning February 7 ,   about three weeks before the March 4 General Elections.

The cases, touching on the candidacy of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and URP leader William Ruto were initially before Justice David Majanja, who referred the files to Mutunga to  constitute a bench.

Te petitioners want the court to bar presidential candidates Odinga, Uhuru and Mudavadi as well as running mates Ruto and Musyoka from contesting March 4 general election.

The case filed by Ndungu and a lobby group – Public Corruption, Ethics and Governance Watch – is seeking a declaration that the candidature of the five politicians is contrary to Chapter Six of the Constitution.

Ndungu wants the five stopped from holding any public office the court rules that they do not meet the ideals and tenets of Chapter Six. He specifically wants Raila barred from contesting for his alleged role in the failed 1982 coup attempt, his lack of clear academic credentials and the alleged grabbing of the Kisumu molasses plant.

He says Kalonzo was found guilty of contempt of court and fraud in a criminal case in 1990. For Mudavadi, the activist claims that he lied to the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry on his role in the scandal and failing to stop the multi-million shilling City Hall cemetery scandal. The ICPC wants Uhuru and Ruto barred from any public office because of their crimes against humanity charges at the Hague.