In two counties, no election petitions were filed


In two counties, no election petitions were filed

Out of the 47 governors, 34 have had their victories challenged in court.

Petitions have been filed for 72 per cent of governor races and 26 per cent of woman representative contests, analysis by Nation Newsplex shows.

The data contained in a gazette notice signed by Chief Justice David Maraga shows that only two of the 47 counties have been spared election petitions — Elgeyo-Marakwet and Nyandarua.

It appears all the candidates in these counties were satisfied with the results of the August 8 General Election.

However, at least three petitions or less were filed in 27 counties. For instance, only one petition was filed in each of the following counties: Bomet, Isiolo, Kericho, Laikipia, Makueni, Murang’a, Nandi, Samburu and Tana River.

Two were filed in each of the following: Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Marsabit and Baringo. Three were filed in each of the following devolved units: Kiambu, Homa Bay, Nyeri, Tharaka-Nithi and Vihiga.

By contrast, the highest number of petitions were filed in Kisii (24), Kakamega (23), Nairobi (21) and Kilifi (19). These four counties alone accounted for 87 petitions, nearly one third of the total countrywide.

Of the 288 petitions filed across the country, 227 (nearly four-fifths) were filed by losers challenging the election of MPs and MCAs. The governor, senator and woman rep races accounted for the other 61 petitions.

Out of the 47 governors, 34 have had their victories challenged in court.

Governors enjoy executive powers and have a big role in determining how money guaranteed to counties by the Constitution is spent. This, in turn, makes the seat highly competitive.

Races for Members of Parliament, who approve financial appropriations in the National Assembly and oversee the Constituency Development Fund, are the next biggest litigants, with 98 winners having their victories challenged.

They are followed by senators, who have 15 races (32 per cent) being challenged in the courts.

WOOING VOTERS

Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of all the 47 outcomes by county women representatives were challenged, while the 129 petitions by MCA candidates represent only nine per cent of the 1,448 races held on August 8.

Kilifi, Kisii, Garissa, Wajir  and Trans Nzoia counties had at least one petition challenging the election for all of the five elective positions — from MCA to governor.

In the petitions, the losers cite a number of anomalies during the elections.

For example, in Turkana County, Ms Pauline Akai Lokuruka of ODM, who contested the woman  rep seat, claims that Jubilee members distributed government relief food with the intention of wooing voters to cast ballots for the party.

While petitioners in governor cases have largely filed their cases in the High Court located in the county where the election was conducted, there are a few exceptions. For instance, all petitions in the governors’ races in Mandera, Garissa and Marsabit will be heard in Nairobi.

The same is also true of Wajir County, with the exception of a petition filed by Mr Adow Mohamed Abakar against Mr Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, which will be heard at the High Court in Garissa.

AFFILIATION WITH POLITICAL PARTIES

Of the 34 cases challenging the election of governors, at least 20 were filed by the losing candidates. Some of these cases pitted petitioners against respondents from the same coalition or allied parties. For example, within Nasa, Mr Hassan Omar, who was a Wiper party official until recently, has challenged the election of Mr Ali Hassan Joho of ODM in Mombasa County. In Kisii, Mr Lumumba Nyaberi of Wiper is challenging the election of Mr James Ongwae of ODM.

Other petitions challenging the election of governors were filed by voters who did not indicate their affiliation with political parties.

Newsplex has established that in addition to being voters, some of those named as petitioners have political links to either parties or governor candidates who lost the elections. In Nairobi, an election case against Governor Mike Sonko indicates the petitioner as Mr Japhet Muroko, an ODM activist who came up with the “Baba while you were away” slogan that peaked in May 2014.

In Busia County, Mr Peter Odima Khasamule is challenging the election of Sospeter Omajoong of ODM. In addition to being a voter, Mr Khasamule also served as the campaign manager of Paul Otouma, who contested the governor, seat as an independent candidate and lost to Mr Omajoong and placed second.