The Wiper gubernatorial candidate for Machakos, Ms Wavinya Ndeti, will no longer have sleepless nights after she survived, for a second time, a spirited onslaught that would have seen her pushed out of contesting for the seat against incumbent Alfred Mutua.
This follows a ruling issued by the Court of Appeal in Nairobi, which upheld the High Court’s verdict, quashing the electoral commission’s decision to block her from running.
Judges Erastus Githinji, Hannah Okwengu and Jamila Mohamed on Friday ruled that the appeal challenging the verdict issued by Justice George Odunga last month did not have merit.
“In conclusion we find that the High Court judge’s reasoning as appropriate when determining this matter, which means that this case lacks merit and is hereby dismissed,” they ruled.
The IEBC had on June 8 locked Ms Ndeti out of the race after finding out that she was a member of two parties — Wiper Democratic Movement and Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU).
Machakos MCA Kyalo Peter Kyuli ignited the legal tussle against Ms Ndeti when he complained before the IEBC team.
But Ms Ndeti moved to the High Court a day after a decision was made arguing that it was erroneous.
She had also argued that the Registrar of Political Parties was aware that she was vying on a Wiper ticket and not her former CCU party, following the signing of a consent before the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.
While the IEBC and the MCA defended their positions, Justice Odunga dismissed their claims and ruled that the issue of when Ms Ndeti entered into a coalition agreement on April 24 was not raised when the electoral agency’s decision was made.
According to the judge, IEBC should have considered the issue of whether the coalition agreement signed by both CCU and Wiper was valid at the time they ruled against her.
He therefore faulted the electoral agency for failing to consider that before issuing the harsh judgment against her, and ordered that she must be on the ballot come August 8.
This decision did not go down well with Mr Kyuli who moved to the appellate court to have it quashed.
Together with the IEBC, he suffered a setback when the appellate judges upheld the reasoning of the High Court judge.