IEBC officials admit errors in Homa Bay governor results

Thursday December 14 2017

Homa Bay

Mr Oyugi Magwanga (centre), Mr Joshua Orero listen to their lawyer Charles Kanjama at the Homa Bay High Court last month. Mr Magwanga is challenging the victory of Governor Cyprian Awiti. PHOTO | BARACK ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Officials of the the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have admitted having committed malpractices in the Homa Bay gubernatorial election.

Testifying in a case challenging the re-election of Governor Cyprian Awiti, Suba South Constituency Returning Officer Shaolin Miguran and his Rangwe colleague Ezekiel Juma confessed having used “results” from non-existent polling stations as well as mixing ballots for the presidential vote with those of the governor poll.

VOTES

Mr Juma said on Wednesday votes for presidential candidates were awarded to gubernatorial aspirants and the governor hopefuls’ to presidential contenders.

At Nyakwadha Primary School polling station, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s sole vote was awarded to the petitioner, former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, and Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s 328 votes given to Mr Awiti.

 In his defence, Mr Juma argued that the clerk erroneously entered the results and that it was not deliberate.

“Our clerk made wrong entries by mixing up presidential and gubernatorial results,” said Mr Juma.

In Suba South Constituency, for instance, the IEBC added results from a non-existent polling centre known as Sindo Main Beach Banda to the final results, affecting the final tally.

 Mr Magwanga’s lawyers Andrew Muma and Humprey Obach, in a cross-examination of the ROs, decried the mistake and other irregularities across the constituency and the county.

“The glaring mistakes by the commission affected the overal results of the gubernatorial race,” said Mr Obach.

Forged results

Under cross-examination by lawyer Fredrick Orego for the IEBC and Tom Ojienda for Mr Awiti, the two ROs claimed that Mr Magwanga forged the results that he presented in court.

RESULTS FORMS

Despite the admission, however, they urged the court to dismiss the petition. They also asked that, should it be found that the petitioner tampered with the results and forms, he be charged with forgery. “Mr Magwanga actually deducted the votes for Mr Awiti and added them to his votes,” said Mr Miguran. “That is electoral fraud, according to the commission.”

He cited Olando, Uterere and Mukende polling centres as examples.

“The forms presented by Mr Magwanga are a product of crime. This case is a waste of time,” said Mr Ojienda.

The ROs also claimed that Mr Magwanga had never complained before.

“I did not receive any complaints on electoral offences from the petitioner because the declaration of the results was done in accordance with the law,” said Mr Juma.

The hearing continues.