Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Matungulu MP Stephen Mule loses seat

Stephen Mutinda Mule (centre) whose election as MP for Matungulu was nullified by the High Court in Machakos July 30, 2013. BOB ODALO

Stephen Mutinda Mule (centre) whose election as MP for Matungulu was nullified by the High Court in Machakos July 30, 2013. BOB ODALO 

By BOB ODALO bodalo@ke.nationmedia.com

Matungulu MP Stephen Mule has lost his seat after the High Court in Machakos ruled there was poll irregularities during the March 4 elections.

High Court Judge Lilian Mutende in her ruling said Mr Mule, who contested the Matungulu parliamentary seat on a Wiper Democratic Movement ticket, was not validly elected as MP.

Four petitioners who were losers in the polls Thomas Malinda Musau, Stephen Ndambuki Muli, John Makenzi and a former MP Moffat Maithya filed a petition against Mr Mule soon after the polls.

The case took four months.

The petitioners had complained that their agents were not allowed in the tallying centres and in some cases polling centres were opened late and closed early hence denying their supporters their constitutional right of voting.

Mr Maithya testified that he was forced out of the tallying centre despite being a candidate in the polls.

During the trial, the court ordered for a recount of votes which still placed Mr Mule in the lead with more than 2,262 votes.

But this was not enough as the judge said irregularities in the polls were enough to make her conclude that the elections were not free and fair.

She directed that only a by-election can help address the issues raised.

Mr Mule who was represented by lawyer Priscilla Kioko said he would appeal against the ruling.

Read politics

He read politics in the ruling saying he was being punished for vigorously supporting the Wiper's course and cited his recent campaign for Cord against the Jubilee coalition in the Makueni senate by-election won by Wiper's Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.

Two weeks ago. Mavoko MP Patrick Makau breathed a sigh of relief after the High Court in Machakos threw out an election petition brought by five losers challenging his election.

Two more petitions are yet to be determined by the courts.

Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba’s fate hangs in the balance in a much awaited ruling in which two candidates in the March polls Kalembe Ndile and Caroline Mwelu have challenged his victory.

A recount of the votes ordered by Justice David Majanja found that Mr Ndile had won the election. Justice Majanja said he will deliver his ruling before October.

Another petition involves Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua whose election is being challenged by a former assistant minister Wavinya Ndeti.

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