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Court upholds election of Nyaribari Chache MP Richard Tongi

By Edwin Nyarangi | Feb 28th 2018 | 2 min read

Justice Anthony Ndung’u has dismissed a petition challenging the election of Richard Tongi (Jubilee Party) as the Nyaribari Chache MP in the August 2017 general election.

Justice Ndung’u seating at the Kisii High Court, ordered the three petitioners Chris Bichage (Orange Democratic Movement), Zaheer Jhanda(Wiper Democratic Movement) and James Kenani(Peoples Democratic Party) who contested for the seat in the same election to pay Sh8.4 Million as costs for the petition.

The Judge ordered that Bichage, Jhanda and Kenani to share the costs equally in which Tong’i is to receive Sh 5.4 Million while the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Nyaribari Chache Constituency returning officer are to share out Sh3 Million.

“This court has proven beyond reasonable doubts that Richard Tong’i was validly elected as the MP for Nyaribari Chache Constituency in the general election held on August 8, 2017, this court therefore does not have any reasons to overturn the will of the majority of the constituents,” said Justice Ndung’u.

The Judge said that during the general election ,Tongi garnered 14, 410 votes, Jhanda got 11,710 votes, Bichage got 10,445 votes and Kenani got 5,974 votes with none of the 10 witnesses who appeared in court to give their evidence providing enough evidence to prove allegations made by the three petitioners.

Justice Ndung’u said that the allegations that voters were turned away from some polling stations, that some agents for the petitioners were chased from some polling stations and that some Presiding officers adjusted votes in favour of the MP were not proven before the Court.

“There is no iota of evidence to prove that more voters than those registered voted in the Nyaribari Chache Constituency as claimed by the petitioners, bearing in mind that their agents signed Forms 35A to certify that the election was done as per the constitution,” said Justice Ndung’u.

Justice Ndung’u said that an election is a human endeavor which is bound to have some errors, given that it is carried out during the day and counting of votes done at night, sometimes under inhuman conditions and that most errors happened due to fatigue occasioned by the long working hours for the officials.

The Judge noted that there was no sufficient evidence of voters’ bribery, presented before the court and that there was no evidence that the MP intimidated the Constituency Returning Officer or any other electoral officials as alleged by the three petitioners.

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