Machakos jubilates as Governor Mutua’s election is upheld, Wavinya remains defiant

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua at Court of Appeal. [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]

There were wild celebrations in the streets of Machakos town on Friday after the Supreme Court declared that Governor Alfred Mutua was validly elected in last year’s General Election.

Jubilant supporters of the governor thronged the streets and key entertainment joints to celebrate what they referred to as ‘a victory for the people of Machakos’ following the historic ruling.

“This is not a victory for Mutua. It is a victory for the great people of Machakos and Kenya at large. Justice for the people has finally been served,” said Amos Mutunga, a bodaboda operator based in Machakos town.

Another Mutua supporter chanting his party’s slogan said “Maraga has done it again. He has done justice to the people of Machakos who had been worn out by endless politicking. Now we want development.”

Mutua becomes the first governor in the country’s history to successfully fight off an election petition in the country’s highest court.  His victory had been nullified by the Court of Appeal on grounds that the election process was marred by irregularities.

Friday’s ruling humbled his opponent, Wavinya Ndeti-who first challenged Mutua’s election in the High Court.

However, the former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti maintained that the governor was not validly elected. “I continue to believe the elections of Machakos County did not meet the standards of verifiability, transparency and credibility,” she said in a statement.

In Friday’s ruling, Chief Justice David Maraga declared that the Court of Appeal erred by cancelling Mutua’s victory on grounds it failed the constitutional test of verifiability.

The new development is now expected to ease political disquiet in Machakos County, where the county assembly has been wrestling the executive over various issues.

Meanwhile, a section of politicians have called for an end to the ongoing squabbles between the Machakos County executive and the legislative wing of the government following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court.

 “It is now clear that the question of who is the governor of Machakos has been settled. This gives the people of Machakos an opportunity to focus all their energies on matters development,” said former Machakos deputy governor Kiala.