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Karua relentless in bid to discredit Anne Waiguru poll win

Saturday October 5 2019

Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua

Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua addresses the Supreme Court during the ruling on her poll petition on December 20, 2018. She has accused the judges of violating the rule of law. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WALTER MENYA
By WALTER MENYA
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Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua has escalated her war with the Judiciary to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), accusing it of violating her right to access justice.

Ms Karua’s suit emanates from her failed bid to overturn the election of Ms Anne Waiguru as Kirinyaga governor over allegations of electoral misconduct.

She alleges that despite presenting her case, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and especially the Supreme Court, "failed to uphold the rule of law in knowingly dispensing injustice to the applicant while acknowledging that she was not at fault".

"This monumental failure by the judicial arm of the respondent State (Kenya) breached the EAC Treaty, and in particular Articles 6(d) and 7(2), which obligate partner states to uphold good governance, democracy, the rule of law, human and people’s rights," she says in the suit papers filed by her lawyer Gitobu Imanyara.

Ms Karua also asks the regional court to rule that the government infringed on her rights and award her damages, among other reliefs sought.

PETITION DISMISSED

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After the August 2017 General Election, Ms Karua had petitioned the election of Ms Waiguru at Kirinyaga High Court on September 5, 2017, alleging impropriety by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officers and Ms Waiguru's agents, which impacted the outcome.

But Justice Lucy Gitari dismissed the petition as "hopeless, defective and incurable".

Ms Karua then sought redress at the Court of Appeal after accusing the judge of bias. The Appeals court ruled in her favour and ordered a fresh hearing at the High Court.

But during the hearing, she alleges that video evidence she had filed went missing while in the court's custody but the judge failed to order an inquiry into its loss. Instead, she ruled against her.

COMPLIANCE

She again returned to the Appeals court, which declined to entertain her appeal on grounds that the statutory six month-period for filing the petition, as provided for in the Elections Act, had elapsed.

Relentlessly, Ms Karua went to the Supreme Court. The court, headed by Chief Justice David Maraga, on August 6, 2019 threw out her appeal because it lacked jurisdiction since hearing of the petition commenced after the six-month period.

But she vowed to press on. "I did not get justice in court but ALUTA CONTINUA. The journey to success is long and winding (sic). Many thanks to those who stood by me in my judicial marathon. All is not lost; there is much more to do!" she tweeted.

The Attorney General is the respondent on behalf of the Government of Kenya. One of the major criticisms against EACJ is that since it lacks mechanisms to ensure compliance with its judgments, the outcome lies entirely on the political will of the partner states.