Former Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko has filed a lawsuit against Azimio La Umoja Leader Raila Odinga for declaring Monday, March 20, a public holiday.
Sonko argued in a petition filed before Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’udi that Raila had broken the law because he lacked the authority to declarea public holiday.
Justice Ong’udi responded that Sonko’s petition was of national interest and could not be dismissed prematurely.
“I have read the Petition, Notice of Motion, and Certificate of Urgency, all of which are dated March 17, 2023. I’ve noted that the same was filed at 4:05 p.m. and the file was delivered to me at 4:30 p.m. “Justice Ong’udi remarked.
The Judge also stated that in Kenya, there is a set procedure for declaring public holidays.
“I have read the pleadings and annexures and have not found any Gazette Notice by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Interior declaring March 20, 2023, a public holiday in accordance with Section 3 of the Public Holidays Act,” Lady Justice Ong’udi stated.
The Judge then directed Sonko to serve interested parties Raila and the Office of the Attorney General.
Ong’udi also directed that the matter be mentioned on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the day after Raila’s planned mass action.
On Tuesday, March 14, the opposition leader Raila Odinga declared Monday a Public Holiday for his supporters to attend the much-hyped mass action.
Raila asked Azimio La Umoja supporters to attend the grand anti-government march in Nairobi to compel President William Ruto to act on a raft of demands.
Among the issues that Raila advocated for included lowering the high cost of living and electoral reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Raila claimed that the Kenya Kwanza administration mismanaged the economy by withdrawing the subsidies that cushioned ordinary citizens from high food prices.