alexa Reprieve for MP Jessica Mbalu as court upholds her election - Daily Nation

Reprieve for MP Jessica Mbalu as court upholds her election

Friday June 8 2018

Jessica Mbalu

Kibwezi East MP Jessica Mbalu (in purple dress) with her supporters on March 2, 2018. The Court of Appeal on June 8, 2018 upheld her election. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Court of Appeal has upheld Jessica Mbalu's election as the Kibwezi East MP.

The appeals court on Friday ruled that the minor errors raised by Ms Mbalu's rival, Prof Philip Kaloki, did not affect the outcome of the poll.

Justices Mohamed Warsame, Patrick Kiage and Otieno Odek said while it clearly was a breach of the regulations, they also do not think it was enough to nullify an entire election.

ERRORS

The judges said Prof Kaloki did not show how the breaches was either as a result of other malpractices, or how they errors went to the root of the election.

“While there are several minor errors that occurred in the course of the election, these were not in any way shown to have had any impact on the outcome of the election.

"The judgment of the election court was therefore properly grounded in the evidence placed before it,” the judges said.

Prof Kaloki, who came second in the race, was among the five candidates who contested the election. 

He complained of various malpractices and irregularities that marred the election and vote counting, saying they affected the final results.

He also faulted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, saying it abdicated its responsibility during the exercise.

Prof Kaloki also alleged that his agents were not allowed to sign the statutory forms in 34 polling stations, and thus, the total number of votes in those stations, 8,900, ought to have been excluded.

“We have carefully considered the record with respect to this evidence. It is clear that the election court analysed and considered the evidence led before it with respect to the allegations of bribery that had been made and found that the appellant had not presented cogent evidence to establish the same,” the judges said.

The three judges said the election court made the correct findings and Prof Kaloki’s assertions were, therefore, misplaced.

They said elections are conducted by humans of whom none are infallible.

And as such, errors will always occur in the course of the election and the question that an election court must ask itself is not whether these errors and mistakes would occur.

According to the court, the proper question is how the errors affected the outcome in a substantial, material and decisive manner.