Court upholds Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero election, orders Waititu to pay suit costs

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero addresses supporters after the court upheld his election Tuesday. [PHOTO: EVANS HABIL/STANDARD]

By Kurian Musa and Isaiah Lucheli

NAIROBI; KENYA: The court has upheld the victory of Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero after a fierce legal battle with his main rival Ferdinand Waititu.

Making his ruling, Justice Richard Mwongo said although there were discrepancies in the forms 36 used for the tallying of the results, they were quite minimal to warrant nullification of the election.

“I am satisfied that there were some discrepancies in some of the areas,” the judge said.

Regarding the ballot papers found in the possession of a voter at St Martins tallying/polling centre, the court established that they were unmarked and had not been cast.

Susan Kathure was found with the ballot papers and was charged with illegal possession of the electoral material at Soweto Social Hall in Embakasi Constituency. The court awarded costs of up to Sh4.5 million.

“The costs are directed to the petitioner and will be paid to the fourth respondent after taxation by the registrar of court,” said Mwongo.

Speaking after the ruling, former Embakasi MP and Nairobi Gubernatorial contender Ferdinand Waititu accepted the court’s ruling.

“I accept the verdict of the court and join hands with Governor Kidero to work for the people of Nairobi. This was not my seat this time, maybe next time,” Waititu said.

Will not appeal

He, however, said, some of the issues he had raised had not been addressed, but added that he has no intention of appealing the ruling.

After the ruling, Waititu took some time to leave the court premises as jubilant supporters of Kidero burst out in celebration. 

At one time they disrupted the court session, making Justice Mwongo to threaten to postpone the ruling or send them out of the court.

An elated Kidero thanked his supporters for standing by him and promised to continue working for the people of Nairobi.

“I am happy,” Kidero said as he hugged his wife Susan Mboya.

Waititu’s petition was nullified on the grounds that his chief agent did not testify in the case and neither was he available for cross-examination.  “This casts his evidence in the sworn affidavit in doubt since it could not be tested,” Justice Mwongo said.

Meanwhile, a scrutiny and recounting of votes in six polling stations in the petition challenging the election of Mandera North MP Adan Mohammed Noor has established anomalies.

The scrutiny established that some voters had registered without national identity cards while three ballot boxes were missing.

According to the recount, Noor garnered almost 15,000 votes in Wargadud Dam, Quramathow, Sukela Tifna Primary School, Arda Agarsu Centre, Shantoley Primary School and Kubi Hills, which exceeded the number of registered voters.