Seal ballot boxes, court orders IEBC

Tuesday October 10 2017

Former Meru Governor Peter Munya (left) and

Former Meru Governor Peter Munya (left) and incumbent Kiraitu Murungi share a light moment as they wait for the arrival of President Uhuru Kenyatta at Murungene Primary School in Igembe North on October 6, 2017. Mr Munya has challenged the latter's victory. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KEN BETT
More by this Author

The High Court has ordered the electoral commission to seal all the ballot boxes used in the August 8 General Election in Meru until the determination of a petition before it.

Justice Francis Gikonyo issued the order following an application by former Meru Governor Peter Munya, who has challenged the election of the incumbent, Mr Kiraitu Murungi.

Mr Munya had sought orders for safeguarding of the ballot boxes, saying they might be tampered with before the hearing and determination of the case, to conceal evidence.

SERIAL NUMBERS
His lawyer, Mr Martin Gitonga, had told the court during pleadings that he wanted to lock two warehouses where the electoral agency had stored the ballot boxes to protect the election materials.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), through lawyer Lucy Kamboni, did not oppose the application.

Mr Kiraitu, through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, too, did not object to the application, saying it was the court’s obligation to safeguard the poll materials.

While granting the request, Justice Gikonyo asked the parties to put additional seals on the ballot boxes that would be identified by distinct serial numbers.

FRAUD

On the Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (Kiems) kits, the IEBC told the court they have been reconfigured.

Meanwhile, former Meru senatorial aspirant Mugambi Imanyara, in a case he has filed against Senator Mithika Linturi, wants the IEBC to be compelled to produce his declaration forms and his academic certificates.

He argues that the senator was not validly elected since he was not qualified but had falsified documents he submitted to the IEBC in the 2013 and 2017 elections.

EVIDENCE
Mr Mugambi also wants the court to compel the electoral body to summon all the presiding officers, deputy presiding officers, party agents and clerks in relation to August 8 polls who he claims were hired illegally.

Mr Linturi, through his lawyer Ann Awuor, however, opposed the application, saying the petitioner should file a formal application before court to enable him reply.

The lawyer said the petitioner was merely asking the court to help him obtain evidence to help him in his case.