The High Court in Kakamega has dismissed an election petition challenging Shinyalu MP Justus Gesito Mugali’s win.
It cited insufficient evidence to prove electoral malpractices.
It was a double blow for petitioners Silverse Anami and Adrian Meja as the court asked them to pay Sh5 million in costs.
High Court Judge Jesse Njagi said Mr Anami (former MP) who contested as an independent candidate and Mr Meja who contested on the ANC ticket had failed to prove allegations of widespread voter bribery and incitement to violence that they claimed disrupted the electoral process.
"The voters in Shinyalu were given an opportunity to elect the leader of their choice. I return a finding that the third respondent was elected validly in the hotly contested election," said the judge.
Mr Mugali, popularly known as ‘Kizito’, who clinched the seat on an ODM ticket was awarded Sh2.5 million, while the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and returning officer Mr Henry Lumiti were awarded Sh2.5 million.
Justice Njagi said the irregularities cited in the petition did not affect the election results in Shinyalu.
The petitioners had cited voter bribery and failure by the electoral agency to conduct free and fair polls.
Mr Anami had told the court that the electoral process was marred by irregularities.
He said the counting and collation of results for the constituency was not conducted transparently and his agents were harassed and blocked from polling stations.
Mr Meja complained that Mr Mugali held a private meeting with a presiding officer but did not disclose the agenda.
But Justice Njagi said there was no evidence to prove that the alleged meeting took place.
After the ruling, Mr Mugali said he was happy with the court’s decision.
He asked the petitioners to accept the ruling and to work with him.
Mr Mugali said he would now focus on developing Shinyalu Constituency.