Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala is a happy man after the High Court lifted the orders that blocked the Independent and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) from approving him to vie for the Kakamega gubernatorial seat.
This follows the push and shove witnessed by Malala and the electoral body over the validity of his KCSE and university degree certificate, leading the court to bar the IEBC from publishing his name until the authenticity of the documents was determined.
Justice Patrice Ouko in a hearing on Monday, June 27, lifted the orders to allow the senator's name to be gazetted to be on the ballot just in time before the June 30 deadline.
Malala is not yet in the clear as the court pointed out that the validity of his academic credentials was still a matter that require further investigations.
Justice Ouko hence asked the respective bodies tasked with authenticating the documents namely the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) and the Commission for University Education (CUE) to do their due diligence and give a report to the court.
"To ensure the law is compiled with by all parties and for the petitioners to be given a fair hearing and the right justice...I do not resist the temptation to lift orders barring the gazetting of the first respondent (Malala) as a gubernatorial candidate in August 9 General Election but the issue of credibility is a threshold issue and must be addressed by this court," Justice Ouko ruled.
Justice Ouko also directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the EACC to conduct investigations into Malala's papers and submit their reports within seven days.
The senator's legal team defended that the petitioners who applied to have the IEBC blocked from clearing him sought to put a strain on the gazzettement deadline.
"The counsel for the petitioners wants to work the court backwards. This is a matter that has strict deadlines and if we go back we shall be wasting the court's time," noted Charles Malala, the senator's lawyer.
Malala is set to face ODM candidate Fernandes Barasa for the hotly contested seat.
The hearing for the petition is set for July 11.