Supreme Court saves Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito Mugali

Friday February 8 2019

Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito Mugali

Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito Mugali (in red tie) outside the Supreme Court after his election was upheld on February 8, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Supreme Court has upheld Justus Kizito Mugali's election as Shinyalu member of parliament, saying there was no reason to overturn it.

Mr Kizito can now rest easy following the Friday ruling on a petition by former MP Silverse Anami.

NAME ISSUE

Mr Anami had argued that Mr Kizito did not qualify for the election because of the difference in his name.

Through lawyer Anthony Lubullelah, he said that whereas the Orange Democratic Movement issued a nomination certificate to Justus Kizito Mugali, the name that appeared on the ballot papers was Justus Gesito Mugali M’Mbaya.

The petitioner said there was no registered voter in Shinyalu with the name Justus Kizito Mugali and that the certificate was issued to a different person.

The court further heard that in May 2017, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) had directed the party to conduct fresh nominations but that it disobeyed the order and issued a direct nomination to Mr Kizito.

SAME PERSON

Dr Ken Nyaundi, who represented the MP, said the nomination complaints were addressed by the IEBC’s dispute resolution committee and PPDT.

The Supreme Court, in a decision read by Justice Isaac Lenaola, noted that the IEBC committee resolved that the two names were of the same person so Mr Anami could not revisit the matter.

The court noted that he failed in his challenge before the Judicial Review division of the High Court.

Justice Lenaola therefore ruled that Mr Anami could not use the Supreme Court to review the decision of the IEBC and that the Court of Appeal was therefore correct in dismissing the appeal because it had been conclusively dealt with.

MALPRACTICES

On the claim that the election was not verifiable and accountable, the court said the former MP did not give reasons to support the claims and that the appellate court exercised its powers properly in dismissing the case.

After the MP was elected in August 2017, Mr Anami and one Mr Adrian Meja turned to court alleging voter bribery and irregularities due to failure by the polls agency to ensure a free and fair process.

The former lawmaker also claimed that there was no transparency in relaying the results and that his agents were mistreated at polling stations.

In February last year, the High Court dismissed the petition citing lack of sufficient proof of the alleged malpractices.

Mr Anami and Mr Meja were asked to pay Sh5 million in costs, with Mr Mugali, popularly known as ‘Kizito’, getting Sh2.5 million.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and returning officer Henry Lumiti got the remaining share of the money.

Mr Anami later turned to the Court of Appeal but his case was dismissed there as well.

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