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Meru Governor Peter Munya loses seat

12 March 2014, 17:39 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - The election of Meru governor Peter Gatirau Munya has been nullified by court of appeal sitting in Nyeri.

Munya lost his seat following an appeal that was filed by a voter, Dickson Mwenda Githinji after the High court in Meru had in August 2, 2013 upheld Munya’s election.

The appellate judges, Justice Jamila Mohammed, Otieno Odek and Alnasir Visram cited that there were electoral malpractices in the March 4 elections in Meru County.

The court said the election exercise in the county did not meet the constitutional threshold stating that there were a lot of electoral irregularities.

In his appeal, Mwenda Githinji said the high court judge, Justice James Makau was more biased in the petition.

He said the judge erred in law by endorsing Munya as the governor despite submitting sufficient and substantial evidence during proceedings.

He said the judge erred by ordering scrutiny and recount of votes in only seven polling stations instead of 82 polling stations that the petitioner had disputed.

There was a margin of 3,436 votes between Peter Munya and the second candidate Kilemi Mwiria, with the court noting that it was a one per cent gap.

While delivering the judgment, Justice Otieno Odek who read the verdict said there were 953 polling stations in the county and after the recount in seven stations the second candidate earned 360 more votes.

“If after a recount exercise in just seven polling stations the gap reduced by 360 votes, what would be case if the recount was subjected to all the 953 polling stations?” the judge posed.

Munya who contested for the seat on Alliance Party of Kenya (APK) party ticket was declared the winner after he garnered 184,273 votes against TNA’s Dr Kilemi Mwiria 180,837 votes.

 However, after the judgment, Munya through lawyer Okong’o Omugeni vowed to move to the Supreme Court stating that the verdict affected the Meru residents.

Omugeni said the order did not meet the public interest factor since the County government had been formed and was in place.

However, his application to have the order stayed for seven days so as to move to the Supreme Court was objected after the court said such application should not be oral, but a formal and documented application.

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