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Election losers rush to file petitions before deadline

By Standard Team | Published Thu, September 7th 2017 at 00:00, Updated September 6th 2017 at 23:41 GMT +3
Wavinya Ndeti (right) at Machakos Law Courts when she filed a petition against Governor Alfred Mutua win on Tuesday

SUMMARY

  • Some 130 election cases had been filed across the country by Wednesday, one week to the deadline
  • 300 - ­The number of election petitions the Judiciary says it is expecting by end of Friday

Daggers are now drawn following an avalanche of petitions filed with slightly under a week before the deadline.

By Wednesday a record 130 petitions had been filed across the country, out of which 13 are challenging the election of 13 governors, up from seven on Tuesday.

ALSO READ: This back and forth over IEBC is unhealthy for the country

At least 54 petitions are the challenging election of MPs while over 60 others had been filed by 4pm yesterday contesting election of MCAs.

In Narok, two parliamentary losers have filed a petition at the Narok High Court challenging the victory of their opponents.

David Keter of Jubilee and Julius Sunkuli (Kanu) are contesting the win of Johana Ngeno (Emurua Dikir-Kanu) and Gideon Konchellah (Kilgoris-Jubilee) respectively.

In his petition, Mr Keter accused his opponent of using violence, including injuring his chief agent, to intimidate his supporters. This he said made his supporters stay away from voting.

In the petition where he included the County Returning Officer Lillian Okoth as the second respondent, he cited incidences of violence allegedly used by Ng’eno including use of the Kalenjin word ‘Makiwolei’ which loosely translates to “we are not changing”.

Ng’eno, who is popularly known as “Dollar Line” garnered 16,098 votes against Keter’s 13,707 to retain his seat.

Sunkuli wants the court to order the scrutiny and recount of all votes cast in Kilgoris Constituency, declare the election null and avoid and order a repeat election.

Sunkuli, who emerged second with 17,160 against Konchellah’s 23,812 votes, claims the elections were marred with irregularities and were not free and fair.

ALSO READ: Harvest time as lawyers, courts set to mint millions from petitions

In his petition, Sunkuli claims that more than 100 polling stations had irregularities which affected more than 7,740 votes. He claims his opponent stationed his agents in various places who intimidated and bribed voters.

Former Turkana Senator John Munyes, who was trounced by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok in the governor contest, is seeking nullification of the latter’s re-election, citing massive irregularities in the electoral process.

In the petition filed at the Lodwar High Court on Tuesday evening, Mr Munyes alleges that elections in the county were not fair and transparent and the results should be declared null and void.

In another petition, Robert Kemei, a voter in Nandi Hills Consitituency, alleges that Alfred Keter bribed voters and campaigned beyond the time stipulated by IEBC.

The MP was declared the winner in the August 8 polls after he garnered 23,923 votes, beating Bernard Kitur (Independent) who got 13,872 votes and Isaac Kirwa Letting (ODM) who got 863 votes.

Through his lawyer Joshua Maritim, Kemei claims Keter went on to campaign on August 6 and 7 against the gazette notice by IEBC which stated campaigns would be held between June 1, and August 5, 2017.

He further accuses IEBC of allegedly failing to manage the elections according to the requirements of the Constitution.

ALSO READ: Why the Supreme Court ruling was so significant for Kenya

In Kisii Wiper governorship candidate Lumumba Nyaberi filed a petition at the Kisii High Court challenging the re-election of Kisii Governor James Ongwae.

Lumumba is accusing Ongwae of convening a press conference at his Deputy Charles Birundu’s Keumbu home on August 7, 2017 at around 5pm where it was declared that Wiper candidates in Kisii County had resolved to back his Ongwae re-election.

The petitioner said the meeting was also attended by Kisii Senator Samson Ongeri, Kisii Woman Rep Janet Ong’era, Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, five Wiper Democratic Movement National Assembly candidates and six Wiper Democratic Movement Party MCA candidates.

Walter Nyambati, who lost the Nyamira governor’s seat in the August polls, also wants his opponent John Nyagarama’s re-election overtuned.

This was one of the prayers in Nyambati’s petition against Nyagarama’s win which he said was as a result of numerous malpractices which he has documented and now wants the Nyamira High Court to review.

Nyambati has sued the IEBC, Nyagarama, the County Returning Officer David Towett and North Mugirango Constituency Returning Officer Marjorie Owino.

Nyambati also cited in his petition that in one constituency, the number of votes cast were more than the votes registered.

He also argued that in some polling centres, the votes he got were wrongly recorded on his main Nyagarama’s side.

Nyagarama was declared the winner by the county returning officer after garnering 63,949 votes against Nyambati’s 57,432.

ALSO READ: At least 76 election petitions filed

And former Kisauni MP Rashid Juma Bedzimba is also seeking to nullify the election of Ali Menza Mbogo as the MP.

The former MP claims the election was marred by irregularities, rampant bribery, undue influence and misuse of public resources.

Meanwhile, IEBC Wednesday agreed to put fresh seals on ballot boxes holding the votes cast in 177 polling stations in Meru County.

The electoral agency also agreed to supply former MP Silas Muriuki with copies of form 35A showing the parliamentary results from the polling stations in the constituencies.

A lawyer for the IEBC told Justice Alfred Mabeya sitting in Meru that they will also provide the forms 35A within two days subject to sending a procedural notification to the agency’s headquarters.

The judge then registered the orders as having resulted from a consent between the two parties.

Muriuki of the Mazingira Greens Party of Kenya who polled 28,894 votes is petitioning the election of Jubilee Party’s Rahim Dawood who was declared winner after polling 29,042 votes.

In Nairobi, Steve Mbogo is challenging the election of Charles Njagua alias Jaguar as a Member of Parliament for Starehe Constituency.

ALSO READ: At least 76 election petitions filed

Mbogo, who contested on an ODM ticket, is seeking nullification of Jaguar’s election, claiming the exercise was marred by massive irregularities.

Other major petitions include Wiper’s Wavinya Ndeti’s versus Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua. Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua has filed a petition against Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. Mutua, the Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader, garnered 249,954 votes against Ndeti’s 209,233.

Report by Robert Kiplagat, Michael Ollinga, Edwin Nyarangi, Stanley Ongwae, Willis Oketch, Wainaina Ndungu’ and Faith Karanja

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