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'Tharaka-Nithi elections were marred with irregularities'

28 February 2014, 09:02 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - Tharaka - Nithi County women representative polls loser, Mercy Kirito Mutegi on Thursday told an appellate court that the last general elections in the area were marred with irregularities.

She told the court of appeal sitting in Nyeri that she got 14 000 votes more than what was announced at the county tallying centre.

She moved to the higher court challenging a judgment that was delivered by Justice Jessie Lessit of Meru High Court upholding Nkatha’s election.

Kirito is contending for the judgment to be set aside, the court to order for fresh polls in the area and nullification of Nkatha’s election.

In the suit, she has named the electoral commission, the county MP and electoral commission’s returning officer Simon Mucheru as the respondents.

Through lawyer Charles Agwara, the petitioner faulted the High court judge for failing to consider her evidence.

Agwara told the court that Kirito had clearly indicated at the High Court that the total votes from her poll agents’ tally was 50 000, nearly 14 000 more than what the returning officer announced.

But lawyer Martin Mithega, representing Nkatha, termed the allegations of “doctored results” as absurd, saying any alterations on forms 35 were done in good faith.

“Human errors are always there and the alterations I believe were done to correct the errors. There is no proof that they were done to defeat the supreme will of the people,” said Mithega.

He said Kirito’s request for the court to order a recount and scrutiny of the votes is a baseless afterthought as the High court had declined to grant the prayer, and she never appealed the ruling.

“In as much as there could have been errors, they did not substantially affect the election outcome,” said Mithega.

The matter was heard by a three-judge-bench comprising Alnashir Visram, Otieno Odek and Martha Koome.

The judgment will be delivered on 8 April 2014, the same day when the bench will issue a ruling on a gubernatorial suit of the same county.

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