The Orange Democratic Party that swept all the seats in Kilifi County has suffered a blow after a magistrate’s court in Malindi nullified elections of two of its Members of the County Assembly.
Senior Resident Magistrate Corrilius Nyawiri nullified the elections of Ganda MCA Abdulrahman Omar and his Shella ward counterpart Kadenge Mwathethe on Tuesday saying that the August 8 2017 elections that propelled these MCAs to power were marred with irregularities.
He also slapped the two together with the IEBC and Malindi Returning Officer Masha Sudi with Sh2 million for each petition.
It will be a tight race for Governor Amason Kingi as the ODM chairman in the County if the elections are to be repeated in the two wards bearing the fact that the electorate might have moved on from the election hangover.
In the Ganda ward the petitioner, Mr Joseph Kiponda, of Jubilee Party had accused the IEBC of overseeing the malpractices and the same case applied to Mr Abdulkarim Twahir of Shella ward who vied on a Wiper ticket.
The magistrate ruled that in both cases the returning officer failed to declare results on Form 36A as required by law and termed it as grave and fatal.
“It offended Article 36 of the Constitution and made the election not be fair and transparent,” he said.
Malindi court Deputy Registrar Wandia Nyamu conducted a scrutiny and recount of votes in both wards and discrepancies were noted in many polling stations including Mashamba, Mere and Majivuni Primary schools polling stations.
“The scrutiny and recount of votes found counterfoils in Kijiwetanga polling station but in the initial report there were none, more ballot papers were issued more than the number of registered voters,” he said.
Speaking outside the Malindi Law Courts after the court nullified the elections, Mr Kiponda alias Joseppe and Mr Twahir who were accompanied by their lawyer Yusuf Abubakar and hundreds of supporters said justice had finally prevailed.
“We are ready for the repeat polls in the event that there is no appeal that will be filed for we know the will of the people was not arrived at on the 8th of August,” said Mr Kiponda who was accompanied by his lawyer and fellow competitor Reuben Mwambingu.
The two are in separate parties but consolidated their petitions into one.
Mr Twahir thanked residents who had been turning out in large numbers to follow the case till the end.
However, the lawyer representing both Twahir and Kiponda and who also represented almost all the petitioners who filed court cases in Malindi said that the other courts had delivered their verdicts without fully going through the allegations and evidences brought to court.
“I am very grateful of today’s ruling and I wish the same things could have happened in all the other petitions that I represented clients because those who committed the offences in Ganda and Shella wards are the same ones who oversaw elections in Malindi and Kilifi County in general.