The electoral commission and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru have opposed Martha Karua’s application to have findings on scrutiny of election materials used in the county's gubernatorial poll in August 2017 admitted in court as evidence.
Through lawyers Paul Nyamondi and Joe Kathungu, the two also urged Kerugoya High Court Judge Lucy Gitari to bar Ms Karua from filing more exhibits and affidavits in her poll petition.
The two lawyers argued that the applications by the Narc-Kenya party leader are prejudicial to their clients and wastage of judicial time.
“The petitioner wants to be granted time to introduce new evidence and additional affidavits. She made a similar application on September 14, 2017 and the request was rejected by the court after a finding that it would amount to allowing new evidence,” said Governor Waiguru’s lawyer Paul Nyamondi.
He added that Ms Karua wants to procure more evidence to prove her claims that Ms Waiguru was not validly elected.
“She cannot look for evidence when the petition is already in court. She wants to adduce new evidence through the back door,” said Mr Nyamondi.
He told the court that Ms Karua’s version of the report on audit of the voting materials was adulterated stating that he was not opposed to production of a pure report.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) through lawyer Kathungu dismissed Ms Karua’s claims that she was denied access to the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems) kits used in the disputed election.
He said the electoral agency complied with the court orders dated October 23, 2017.
“IEBC complied with the court orders. Petitioner was not granted a read-only access to the kits since the orders were clear that she access the data in the Kiems kits. Not the kits but the data therein which was in memory cards,” said Mr Kathungu.
The court further heard that Ms Karua was also granted access to certified copies of statutory election forms 37A and 37B, according to the court orders.
In her application, Ms Karua and her lawyer Charles Kihara insisted they should be allowed to file more affidavits and the report by the High Court’s Deputy Registrar should be admitted as part of the case proceedings.
“Rules of the court delegate scrutiny matters to the Deputy Registrar, who must report back to the court on the findings. If that is not the case then the scrutiny is effort in futility,” said Ms Karua.
She added that the electoral agency is not supposed to oppose presentation of the report since it is an independent body.
The court will issue a ruling on April 20, 2018.