Politicians in a rush as petitions deadline looms

Tuesday September 5 2017

Former Garissa Governor Nathif Jama

Former Garissa Governor Nathif Jama addresses the press outside Garissa High Court on September 5, 2017 where he had gone to file a petition challenging the election of Ali Bunow Korane. Mr Jama argues the poll was flawed and characterised by massive irregularities. PHOTO | ABDIMALIK ISMAIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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More election losers on Tuesday moved to court to challenge the outcome of the August 8 polls as the deadline for filing petitions draws near.

The law requires people intending to contest the results of an election to file their petitions within 28 days of the declaration of officials results.

According to a summary of the status of petitions filed at the Judiciary, at least 21 petitions challenging results in governor, National Assembly and Senate races have so far been filed in various High Courts.

A further 53 petitions contesting outcomes in wards have been registered at a number of magistrates courts across the country.

The petitions will be heard and determined within six months from the date of filing.

The Supreme Court last Friday determined the petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election.

According to the overview, six petitions have been filed with respect to the position of governor.

They are Embu, Garissa, Tana River, Kirinyaga, Mandera and Taita-Taveta counties.

For the Senate, only two petitions have been filed in Kirinyaga and Wajir, while 13 others have been filed challenging the outcome of MP results.

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua on Tuesday moved to the Kerugoya High Court seeking to have the election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru nullified and fresh polls held.

Accompanied by her lawyer Gitobu Imanyara, Ms Karua wants the petition certified as urgent and orders compelling the IEBC to provide available electronic information on the gubernatorial race.

She is also seeking to have Ms Waiguru declared unfit to hold the governor’s seat or any other elective post for allegedly committing electoral offenses.

Further, Ms Karua said voter bribery was rife while her agents were locked out of the polling stations.

Ms Waiguru garnered 161,373 votes while Ms Karua followed with 122,091.

Ms Karua protested after Ms Waiguru was declared winner.

In Garissa, former Governor Nathif Jama has also filed a petition challenging the election of Governor Ali Korane.

Mr Jama argues the poll was flawed and characterised by massive irregularities.

“We are [...] confident that the court will nullify the election,” Mr Jama said while in the company of his lawyer Omwanza Ombati.

In Kisii, two residents, Mr Joel Makori and Mr Francis Omao, last evening filed a case challenging the re-election of Governor James Ongwae.

They cited massive irregularities in the counting and tallying of votes at polling stations.

Mr Charles Okera and Mr George Ogaki, have also challenged the election of Prof Sam Ongeri as senator on claims of grave errors, illegalities, and irregularities in the election process.

The petitioners said the elections “were fraudulent and contained a lot of flaws, thus they were not free and fair as required by the Constitution”.

Meanwhile, in Tana River County, a resident has also moved to court to seek the quashing of the election of Governor Dhadho Godhana, claiming he does not have a valid university degree.

In the application dated September 4, Mr Mohamed Dado Hatu urged the court to nullify Governor Dhado’s win and order the electoral commission to conduct fresh election.

He argues that Mr Godhana’s bachelor of arts from Kimmage Development Studies Centre in Tanzania, said to be an affiliate institute of a university in Ireland, is not an equivalent of a degree recognised in Kenya.

“That the Commission of University Education (CUE) has confirmed through its letter dated April 25, 2015, that such qualification is not an equivalent from a university recognised in Kenya as contemplated under Section 22 of the Elections Act, 2011,” part of the application reads.

In Lamu, Mr Hassan Albeity, who lost the race for the Senate seat, has moved to court to challenge the election of Mr Anwar Loitiptip.

The former chairman of the defunct Lamu County Council filed a notice of motion through his counsel Pheroze Nowrojee at the Malindi Law Courts last week.

Mr Albeity, who lost on a Wiper ticket, alleged that the Jubilee candidate was rigged in.

He claimed in the notice that Mr Loitiptip “is part of the computer-generated leaders” from the recently concluded General Election.

“I never lost the senatorial race to Loitiptip fairly and I have enough evidence to support my allegation that there was rigging,” he said.

Others who filed petitions on Tuesday included former Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra, who is challenging Julius Musili Mawathe’s election.

And Mr Edward Tale Nabangi, a loser in the Kabuchai parliamentary seat, is also challenging Mr James Mukwe Lusweti’s victory.

Former Shinyalu MP Silverse Lisamula Anami has also filed a petition challenging the victory of Gesito Mugali M’mbaya, alleging voter bribery and failure by the electoral agency to conduct free and fair polls.

And former Gatundu North MP Clement Waibara has also filed a petition to challenge the victory of Ms Wanjiku wa Kibe of the Jubilee Party.

Mr Waibara is seeking to have the outcome of the election nullified.

Reports by George Munene, Ken Bett, Richard Munguti, Titus Oteba, Abdimalik Hajir, Charles Lwanga, Galgalo Bocha, Daniel Nyassy, Eric Wainaina and Elgar Machuka