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Former county chief says he is obeying Uhuru’s request to withdraw election petition

By Wainaina Ndung’u and Phares Mutembei | Published Tue, November 28th 2017 at 00:18, Updated November 28th 2017 at 00:24 GMT +3
Former Meru governor Peter Munya (left) and his successor Kiraitu Murungi outside the Meru Law Courts yesterday, shortly after the former county boss withdrew a poll petition challenging the former Senator's election [Photo:Darlington Manyara|Standard]

Former Meru Governor Peter Munya has given notice to withdraw an election petition challenging his successor Kiraitu Murungi’s win.

The move fuelled speculation Mr Munya was poised for a State appointment.

At a brief court appearance yesterday, his lawyer told Justice Francis Gikonyo that he had instructions to withdraw the case and sought time to file the necessary document.

The move was a clear indication the former Council of Governors Chairman was poised for appointment in the national government, possibly in the new Cabinet.

But the decision to withdraw the petition was met with disappointment and disbelief by his supporters.

Let down

“I feel let down because my wish was for him to win the case and win back the governor’s position. Then he would have been in a good position to run for the presidency in 2022,” said George Thuranira from Gakoromone.

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Samuel M’Mungania, who was in a group of Munya’s supporters discussing the outcome, said the former governor should have fought to the bitter end.

“He should have let the law take its course up to the end. We were ready to accept the verdict of the court. We wanted him as governor as we prepare for his 2022 (bid) for the presidency,” said Mr M’Mungania.

Mr Kiraitu’s and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) lawyers did not object to the notice to withdraw the case whose hearing would have started yesterday.

Munya’s lawyers indicated they would use the time before the December 4 date set by the court to file a motion to withdraw the matter, which involves publishing the intention in one daily newspaper of national circulation.

Munya and Kiraitu later addressed the media outside the courtroom together, a spectacle not seen in the past two years, and they pledged to work together for the good of the county.

The official IEBC report gave Kiraitu of Jubilee Party a win of 280,793 against Munya’s 231,420.

“As you know we met the President in private with the other side prior to the repeat presidential election and he later publicly asked me to withdraw the matter during his campaigns in Meru County. I see no reason for me to continue pursuing the case,” Munya told The Standard.

Munya was noncommittal on his next move but the grapevine has it that he is headed to Cabinet. “The English say you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth because a gift is just a gift,” he said.

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