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Kakamega High Court upholds Wycliffe Oparanya’s election

By By Alex Namuliro | Sep 13th 2013 | 2 min read

By Alex Namuliro

KAKAMEGA, KENYA: Kakamega County governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s election has been upheld by Justice Juma Chitembwe Friday morning and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ordered to pay Sh5 million cost. 

Reading the two and half hours long judgment at Kakamega High Court, Justice Chitembwe said that the petitioner Mrs Mabel Muruli did not prove her case. 

“The petitioner has not produce enough evidence to warranty the nullification of the whole exercise, she did not have any agents at any polling station because she did not participate in the exercise and therefore her allegation of electoral malpractice cannot be proved, her rights cannot override the rights of more than 500,000 voters who are registered in the county, the election was free and fair and I hereby dismiss the petition,” Justice Chitembwe ruled. 

The petitioner Mrs Muruli filed the petition on 8 April 2013 seeking the nullification of the election of the governor where she alleges that IEBC refused to give her a certificate to allow her contest for the seat claiming that she did not have a university degree recognized by Commission of higher education. 

On the matter of IEBC barring her form running for the seat, Justice Chitembwe said that the officer was right to refuse to clear her because the requirement for one to run for the seat as governor was a degree and therefore she needed a degree certificate or a letter from the commission of higher education in case the university attended is out of Kenya like in the case of the Mrs Muruli. 

“The petitioner was supposed to produce a degree certificate and the returning officer was not the one to ascertain if her extended diploma in strategic management from city of London collage was equivalent to a degree, it was the work of the Commission of Higher Education and she ought to have produced a letter from the body in the nomination day, Justice Chitembwe continued

 In the petitioners evidence, she also produced video footage before the court trying to connect the governor to voter bribery. 

“The video footage does not show Oparanya issue out money to any one and therefore we cannot implicate the governor, allegations of election malpractice borders criminal cases and if found guilty one can be barred from running for any election, it therefore need a high standard of proof sometimes beyond reasonable doubt, the petitioner did not meet the standards of proof,” Justice Chitembwe read.


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