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Reprieve for Gachagua as court upholds his election

04 December 2013, 15:39 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - Nyeri Governor, Nderitu Gachagua on Wednesday got a reprieve after the court of appeal upheld his election as the area governor.

Justice Alnasir Visram dismissed the appeal that was filed by poll loser Thuo Mathenge seeking to overturn High court's judgment that upheld Gachagua’s election.

The court quashed all allegations of election malpractices made by Thuo.

The judge agreed with a decision that was delivered by High Court Judge, Justice James Wakiaga on September 9, 2013 saying that elections in the area were free, fair and Gachagua was validly elected.

Thuo had filed the petition following a misprint error of his running mate’s names in the ballot paper.

He claimed that he lost elections to Gachagua due to the error.

During the March 4 polls, Thuo who was running on a SabaSaba Asili party ticket garnered 48,667 votes while Gachagua who was on a little known party, GNU, garnered 136, 985 votes.

While reading a 74-page-judgement, Visram said there was no evidence by the appellant to proof that the error caused his failure.

The court observed that during polls, all other details were clear except the name of the appellant’s running mate which did not affect the validity or results of the area gubernatorial elections.

The appellant did not adduce material evidence, the court said, to support his arguments and the available evidence was unreasonable.

According to the court, a governor’s running mate had no great influence in elections and Thuo did not prove to court that he failed after voters found that he had a new running mate.

The judge further said that there was no evidence to show that the will of the people was not achieved in Nyeri gubernatorial election.

On issue of Thuo’s eligibility to vie for the seat, the court maintained that during proceedings, it was found that the degree certificates he claimed to have obtained from Fairland University Uganda were questionable.

“The appellant’s certificates were found to be different from other certificates issued from the institution on the same day he said he graduated. Signatures of chancellors were also different,” the court said.

Gachagua, the County electoral commission’s returning officer, Peter Wanjohi and the electoral commission had been named as the respondents in the suit.

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