Waiguru to court: Governor Election was above board

Governor Anne Waiguru yesterday said the Kirinyaga governorship election was free and fair, and urged the Court of Appeal to dismiss the petition lodged by Martha Karua.

Ms Waiguru argued that the contest was above board and that the High Court was right to dismiss Ms Karua’s arguments.

Karua, the leader of Narc Kenya party, told Court of Appeal judges Roslyne Nambuye, Hannah Okwengu and Gatembu Kairu that the election was marred by irregularities and that the High Court was unfair in not allowing her petition.

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At the centre of the appeal are forms 37, agents’ presence in polling stations and how High Court judge Lucy Gitari handled the case.

“Having not availed the KIEMS (Kenya Integrated Election Management System) kits in court, this Kirinyaga election was not verifiable. Although the respondents say we did not complain about the results, my results were falsified in two instances. We discharged our burden to show there were doubts on results,” Karua argued.

She further said her party agents were locked out of the polling stations, a claim Waiguru has disputed.

The governor told the court that Karua’s application for Justice Gitari to withdraw from the case could not hold water as it was not supported by evidence.

Volunteered evidence

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“None of the agents who are claimed to have been barred swore an affidavit to claim such. It was the appellant to prove that her agents were barred. We even volunteered evidence to show that whatever she was alleging was not true,” argued Waiguru.

Waiguru also denied that her agents bribed voters as Karua alleged in her appeal.

The Narc Kenya leader told judges some witnesses saw money changing hands.

But Waiguru argued that the claims were based on hearsay as no one was produced in court to show who was bribed or was found giving bribes.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) supported Waiguru’s case and called for a dismissal of Karua’s appeal.

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Through lawyer Paul Nyamodi, IEBC argued that the Court of Appeal had no powers to revisit factual claims that Karua had presented.

The commission also argued that in the event the court found it had powers to scrutinise facts, then it ought to find that Karua had misrepresented the same in her case.

“The appellant has misrepresented all the factual issues before the court. Due process complaints cannot be the basis of nullification of an election properly conducted,” said Mr Nyamodi.

He also argued it would be difficult for the court to order a retrial as the six months given to the High Court had lapsed.

Electronic evidence

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According to IEBC, Karua’s electronic evidence could not be used as it did not comply with the regulations.

On forms 37, IEBC submitted that Karua was not challenging the results of the election.

“The application for production of forms 37 by the appellant was then beyond the scope of her case. Her application was for scrutiny. The petitioner did not request empirical examination by the court. This was a fishing expedition,” Nyamodi said.

The court also heard that Karua’s witnesses on bribery were declared incredible by the High Court. The IEBC also said Karua did not line up the agents who she claimed were barred from the polling stations.

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Anne WaiguruMartha KaruaElection Petition