Dispute tribunal directs Jubilee to hold fresh primary in Murang'a

Saturday May 20 2017

Supporters Murang'a governorship aspirant Mwangi wa Iria protest outside Milimani Law Courts

Supporters of Murang'a governorship aspirant Mwangi wa Iria protest outside Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on May 19, 2017. Mr wa Iria's victory in the Jubilee primary has been nullified. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The nomination of Mr Mwangi wa Iria as Jubilee Party’s governor candidate for Murang’a County was cancelled by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) yesterday.

At the same time, Ms Faith Wairimu Gitau was confirmed by the High Court as the Nyandarua County Woman representative candidate.

While ordering repeat primaries within 96 hours in Murang’a, PPDT members Mr Kyalo Mbobu, Mr James Atemi and Mr Hassan Abdi said, “The members who turned up to vote exceeded the registered members of JP in the county by 53,000”.

Mr Mbobu said the nomination exercise was clouded with a myriad of electoral malpractices, which compromised the democratic principles of free and fair elections.

“The nomination exercise was not free and fair and accordingly, we order JP to hold fresh nominations,” the PPDT directed.

Mr Mbobu cancelled the certificate issued to Mr Wa Iria who garnered over 203,000 votes while his opponent Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau got 118,000 votes.

The tribunal agreed with lawyer Wilfred Nyamu that “those who cast their ballots were 330,125 while the registered members in the county were 276,000”.

Mr Mbobu said that although JP through its lawyer Tom Macharia had opposed the repeat exercise saying those who voted were much less as the current list of members is 514,725, evidence tabled before them proved “the exercise was marred with irregularities”.

“We find that the nomination exercise was not conducted in accordance with the rules of JP and in consonance with the electoral rules, which demand free and fair polls,” they ruled.

While affirming the nomination of Ms Gitau in Nyandarua, Lady Justice Stellah Mutuku said no evidence was produced by the current woman rep, Ms Wanjiku Muhia, that Ms Wairimu colluded with JP to burn the ballot papers to conceal evidence of the nomination results.

Justice Mutuku said there was no iota of evidence to link Ms Wairimu with the electoral malpractice.

“Evidence tabled in court showed Ms Wairimu polled 106,004 while Ms Muhia gunned 75,296 votes,” Justice Mutuku ruled.

She set aside the decision by the PPDT, which had ordered JP to issue a certificate to Ms Muhia.

Meanwhile, former Kitui South MP Samuel Kiminza urged the PPDT to order JP to carry out nominations in the area noting a direct nomination of Ms Rachel Nyamai will disenfranchise the voters.

The tribunal also upheld the win by Mr John Awiti for Kisumu West parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket, saying the case filed against him by Mr Ken Obiero was inappropriate.

They thus dismissed it and ordered Mr Obiero to pay costs of the suit.

Meanwhile, Kigunduini ward aspirant, Mr Peter Mburu Muthoni, who was at the court premises, was arrested and detained for allegedly defrauding a businesswoman, Ms Alice Peninah Wanjiku Ngucu, Sh2.2 million pretending he would purchase a vehicle for her.

Mr Muthoni was taken to Industrial Area Prison to await trial.