IEBC favoured Achani in vote for Kwale governor, two petitioners tell court

Kwale County Governor Fatuma Achani takes the oath of office in August 2022. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Two petitioners have urged the High Court to nullify the election of Fatuma Achani as Kwale Governor over electoral malpractices.

Dziwe Zuma and Suleiman Mwanguku, in their submission filed by M.M Gitonga Advocates LLP before Justice Francis Gikonyo, argued that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disregarded the Constitution and relevant electoral laws.

Achani garnered 59,674 votes on a United Democratic Alliance ticket while her nearest challenger, Hamisi Boga (ODM) managed 53,972 votes during the August 9 General Election.

According to the petitioners, the IEBC and Kwale County Returning Officer conducted the gubernatorial election “in a manner that undermined the importance of voters in a democracy”.

Their counsel argued that the electoral body failed to supply the court with forms used for tallying, and that IEBC could not ascertain the number of voters who were assisted to cast their ballots.

“Both the electoral body and the County Returning Officer consistently disregarded the constitutional and statutory provisions in place to safeguard the will of the people. The IEBC Presiding Officers were clearly playing for Achani’s team instead of being neutral and impartial referees,” the petitioners stated in the submission documents.

Zuma and Mwanguku also argued that the electoral body took advantage of the fact that large areas in Lunga Lunga and Kinango constituencies are inhabited by illiterate voters who needed assistance to vote.

They said that the number of registered voters in the two constituencies was 166,977 with a total of 87,407 turning up to vote.

A ruling is scheduled for January 26.