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Ruling barring officers charged with graft welcome

The ruling is welcome as it reflects on the mood of the nation and will go a long way to restore Kenyans' confidence in the Judiciary.

In Summary

• Justices David Musinga, Steven Gatembu and Agnes Murgor upheld Judge Mumbi Ngugi's ruling barring Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal from office.

• The reasoning is not only precedent-setting but also affirms the Judiciary’s commitment to bolster the Executive’s efforts in the war against corruption.

Governors Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) and Ferdinard Waititu (Kiambu).
LOSE APPEAL: Governors Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) and Ferdinard Waititu (Kiambu).
Image: FILE

The Court of Appeal on Friday declared itself on the critical question of whether governors, like other state officers charged with graft, should be barred from accessing their offices.

Justices David Musinga, Steven Gatembu and Agnes Murgor upheld Judge Mumbi Ngugi's ruling barring Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal from entering his office until he is cleared.

They concluded that the order blocking charged state officers from accessing their offices is a constructive measure and does not amount to removal from office.

The reasoning is not only precedent-setting but also by extension affirms the Judiciary’s commitment to bolster the Executive’s efforts in the war against corruption.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu also lost his bid to return to office. His Nairobi counterpart Mike Sonko is also before the High Court on the same.

This would mean that state officers aggrieved by the appellate decision will have to go the Supreme Court to challenge it. 

The ruling is welcome as it reflects on the mood of the nation and will go a long way in restoring restore Kenyans' confidence in the Judiciary.

At the same time, it bolsters the efforts of anti-graft agencies that have over time blamed the courts for slowing down the fight against corruption.