Mung'aro victory upheld as election petition thrown out

Governor Gideon Mung'aro during a past presser. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

A court in Malindi has dismissed a petition challenging the election of Gideon Mung'aro as Kilifi governor and ordered applicants to pay Sh6 million as the cost of the suit.

The petition was filed by supporters of Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) party - Justine Chinga Chirume, Justin Charo Baya and Salim Chai Tsui.

The three had claimed the election of Mung'aro and his deputy Florah Chimbule was fraudulent and asked the court to nullify their victory.

Lady Justice Anne Onginjo, in her judgement delivered virtually, ruled that the petitioners failed to prove the election was marred with malpractices including voter bribery, intimidation and ballot stuffing.

During last year's election, Mung'aro beat, among others, former Malindi MP and current Public Service, Affirmative Action and Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa.

The governor who ran on ODM ticket won with 142,773 votes while Jumwa, who belongs to UDA, was second after garnering 65,693 votes. Lawyer George Kithi of PAA finished third with 64,326 votes.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Kilifi Returning Officer Hussein Gurre, who are the first and second respondents in the case, will share Sh3 million from the cost of the suit while Mung’aro and Ms Chibule will share the remaining Sh3 million.

Mr Kithi later become the lawyer of the petitioners after he was struck out as an interested party in the suit.

Last month, Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani of UDA also survived a petition filed by voters in support of ODM governor candidate Hamadi Boga.