Governors Mutua, Mvurya survive election petitions

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua. [File, Standard]
The Supreme Court has upheld election of governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Salim Mvurya (Kwale), dismissing election petitions against them.

Governor Mutua's final round win comes after his victory was reversed after his rival, former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti, convinced the Court of Appeal that the Machakos governorship results were manipulated to favour her competitor.

She had appealed after Machakos High Court Judge Aggrey Muchelule ruled that her petition lacked merit and upheld Mutua's victory.

While defending his win at the Supreme Court, Mutua argued the procedural technicalities in last year's elections did not warrant the nullification.

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IEBC also contested the nullification on the grounds that the Court of Appeal focused on human errors and overlooked the will of the people.

Ndeti has maintained the results were announced despite the omission of results from 145 polling stations.

Celebrating the victory, Mutua's lawyer Wilfred Nyamu said: "The Supreme Court has set the law where it belongs. One of the things it has done is to nullify a regulation that was meant to override a statutory provision of the law. Now a returning officer will not be the one to determine who has been elected by the people."

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An upbeat Mutua declared he was in the race for the presidency. "Twenty-twenty two here we come," he said promising to take Kenya politics beyond democracy to economic empowerment where "people have money in the pocket."

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya
Mvurya's election was initially challenged by a petitioner Mwamlole Tchapu Mbwana.

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In November 2017 High Court Judge Mugure Thande struck out the case on the grounds that Mwamlole had not followed due election petitions rules.

Mwamlole filed an appeal but withdrew it before it was heard. Three voters Suleiman Mwamlole Warrakah, Mwarapayo Wa-Mwachai and Matsudzo Hamisi Mwamrez took issue with the nature of the withdrawal as they had nominated Mwamlole to file the case.

Salim Mvurya was re-elected for a second term in office on a Jubilee party ticket after garnering 119,680 votes beating his closest rival Chirau Ali Makwere's 29,741.

Makwere resigned as Kenya's High Commissioner to Tanzania to seek the governorship on a Wiper Democratic Movement party ticket.

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