Order for a ballot recount, Karua urges court

Martha Karua
Martha Karua
Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua yesterday wound her evidence-in-chief by urging the High Court to order ballots recount for the August 8 Kirinyaga governorship election.

While summing up her week-long testimony, Ms Karua told the court that due to the massive illegalities and irregularities, the results the IEBC announced declaring Anne Waiguru the winner should be annulled to pave way for fresh elections.

She listed tampering of ballot boxes, voter bribery, canvasing for votes on the election day, exclusion of her poll agents and cooking of votes to give Waiguru the unfair win as some of the grounds the court should consider and order for repeat election.

Fraudulent poll

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Karua told Kerugoya High Court Judge Lucy Gitari the election was marred with irregularities, hence rendering the results fraudulent.

She told the court that upon scrutinising 200 Forms 37A availed by the IEBC regarding the now disputed elections, she established they were riddled with cancellations, alterations and forgeries.

“I have queries on certified copies of Forms 37A supplied to this court by the IEBC from the 200 out of the 659 polling stations in the county, where even using the naked eyes, forgery and un-initialed alterations on the forms were evident,” she testified.

She further told the court how a Presiding Officer, Angela Maina, from Ciagini Polling Station, opened a sealed ballot box outside the Wanguru tallying center while she was all alone, giving her leeway to do as she desired.

Karua told the court her pleas to the Mwea Constituency IEBC Returning Officer Julius Maingi and the County Returning Officer Samuel Seki for a recount right at the tallying centre fell on deaf ears.

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She was led in her testimony by lawyers Gitobu Imanyara and CN Kihara.

Waiguru’s legal team comprises of Paul Nyamodi, Andrew Muchiri and Kamotho Waiganjo.

Meanwhile, a Court of Appeal is set to rule, on Thursday,  whether an election petition appeal against Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha by his rival Issa Timamy will be transferred to Nairobi.

Justices Alshir Visram, Martha Koome and Wanjiru Karanja will make the decision after listening to submissions by Twaha and Timamy’s lawyers.

Timamy’s lawyers, led by Yusuf Abubakar, applied before the Court of Appeal to transfer the appeal to Nairobi because lead lawyer Pheroze Nowrojee cannot travel to Mombasa to argue the case.

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Abubakar told the appellant court that the file should be placed before President of Court of Appeal to appoint a bench to hear the case.

“Senior counsel wrote a letter requesting the transfer of the case to Nairobi because of his bad health, which made us make this application,” said Abubakar.

Timamy has appealed against a decision by Justice Dorcas Chepkwony, who cleared Fahim Twaha as the duly elected Lamu Governor on a Jubilee ticket.

During the hearing, Twaha’s lawyer Mourice Kilonzo opposed the application, arguing that election petitions had timelines and that its transfer could delay hearing.

“Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction to transfer any election petition appeal to another station apart from where it has been gazetted,” said Kilonzo.

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In another case, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has admitted there were cases of irregularities in the Nyamira governorship elections.

The commission, however, denied that the errors affected the overall outcome of the election that led to declaration of John Nyagarama as governor.

Through its lawyers, led by Gilbert Nyamweya, the electoral body asked Court of Appeal judges Asike Makhandia, Stephen Gatembu and Kathurima Minoti to dismiss the appeal challenging the decision by the Nyamira High Court to uphold Nyagarama’s win.

Overturn ruling

The appeal has been filed by Walter Nyambati, who is seeking to have the judges overturn the ruling in his favour and order a by-election.

Nyamweya said the gap between Nyagarama and Nyambati was significant to an extent that the errors identified in some polling stations could not have had an effect on the final results.

During the submissions, counsel representing Nyambati, led by Fred Ngatia, said a scrutiny of votes in some 47 polling stations indicated that there were unexplained additions in 37 polling stations.

Judgment will be delivered on July 26.

Martha Karuaelection petitionanne waiguru