Court dismisses petition by female gubernatorial hopeful
04 October 2013, 17:59
Mombasa - The hope of Kenya ever having a first female governor was suppressed after the Mombasa law courts dismissed a petition filed by a female gubernatorial hopeful at the Taita Taveta County, Jacinta Mwatela.
Mwatela had filed a petition challenging the eligibility of her co-contestant, Johnson Mututa Mruttu, in the March 4 polls.
Appearing before Justice Maureen Onero, the petitioner challenged the election claiming that the IEBC intentionally announced two different winners at the time they had finalised the tallying of votes making the process questionable. However, the court said that was a mistake emanating from the long hours and pressure under which the IEBC officers were working during the elections.
The petitioner told court that the fact that she was the first to be named the winner in the elections made her the legitimate governor and asked the court to order IEBC to present her with the certificate legalising her elections.
Consequently, the petitioner claimed that her agents and the wiper party agents were denied access to the polling station until late in the day and that they were not supplied with form 35 for signing immediately the results were announced. The court however dismissed this allegation too after it was found out that the form 35 the petitioner was referring to had actually been duly signed by the said wiper agents except only one, due to personal reasons.
She added that the 4th respondent, who is the sitting governor of Taita Taveta, provided the car in which the ballot papers were transported to the tallying centre and that her agents were not given chance to verify the contents in the vehicle before it was used for the transportation.
However, the court dismissed her claims on the ground that the respondent produced paper work to prove that the said car had been hired by the IEBC for election purposes.
Johnson Mruttu celebrates outside Mombasa Law Courts after his win was upheld. Photo: Rodgers Buluma, News24 user)
The court dismissed the petition on the ground that the petitioner did not have enough evidence to enable the court nullify the elections with claims that the errors mentioned by the petitioner are bound to happen due to human nature. Court however failed to order for the scrutiny of votes from Wundanyi, Voi and Watamu in line with the petitioner's request.
Petitioner is expected to pay for the cost of the fourth respondent of up to KES 2 million but was exempted from doing the same to the IEBC and the other two respondents who were officials of the IEBC owing to the fact that the large number of mistakes occurred during the elections were to a greater extent generated by them though not to an extent of affecting the elections at all.
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