Former Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe has instructed Siaya Senator James Orengo and senior counsel John Khaminwa to get an advisory opinion from the Constitutional Court on whether DP William Ruto can run for President in 2022.
Murathe told the Star that the two are working on a comprehensive filing that will be presented to the court for advice.
“We are not going to the Supreme Court. Instead, we are going to the Constitutional Court first,” Murathe told the Star yesterday.
The former Gatanga MP has pledged to block Ruto from running for President “because he is unfit and would have served for 10 years jointly with President Kenyatta who will not be eligible for another term”.
Murathe has already obtained a preliminary opinion from the lawyers who have told him that there is a highly viable and persuasive argument that the DP is barred from the 2022 race.
The lawyers argue that the DP is elected into office ‘indirectly’ by virtue of being the running mate of the President.
Thus, the presidential mandate in Kenya is exercised by both the President and Deputy President. “Indeed, the apex of the executive arm of Kenya’s Government is entitled ‘The Presidency’, which comprises both the President and the Deputy President,” the lawyers say in their opinion to Murathe.
Murathe’s lawyers also argue that the presidency is shared between Uhuru, in accordance with Article 147 of the Constitution, which makes the DP the President’s principal assistant in execution of the President’s functions.
“Article 147 has been invoked by Kenyatta during his first term. This happened in October 2014 when the President appointed Ruto as the Acting President for three days while he attended the status conference at the International Criminal Court,” the lawyers said.
Uhuru and Ruto were facing charges of crimes against humanity at the Hague.
The cases collapsed before trial. During this period, Murathe’s lawyers argue that the DP exercised presidential powers and in fact did so from the President’s official office and with all the privileges, responsibilities and trappings of presidential power.
Under the previous Constitution as well the President could not be on his own. Murathe and his team further argue that article 148 ( 1 ) says the DP is elected into office by virtue of having been chosen as the President’s running mate during the presidential elections
“From constitutional and legal analysis, it is our opinion that it is a highly viable and persuasive argument that the Deputy President may not contest for the office of the President upon the expiry of his two five-year terms,” Orengo and Khaminwa told Murathe. Ruto has previously dismissed Murathe’s assault. Speaking in London on February 8 Ruto said Murathe’s comments do not merit a response.
“I have not responded to Murathe in Kenya, I am not about to respond to him in Europe,” Ruto said when delivering an address a Chatham House.
Murathe resigned as Jubilee Party vice chairman on January 6 and has openly campaigned against Ruto’s presidential ambitions.
“I am ready to respond to any allegation against my character or anything I engage in. But the decision of the Jubilee candidate is not a personal decision but that of a political party called Jubilee,” he said.
Murathe has also accused Ruto of rigging out many popular Jubilee aspirants during the 2017 nominations. He has alleged Ruto’s presidency would make a large swathe of Kenyans panic because they are scared of his past.