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City petitioners lose cases

Nairobi election petitions ended last week and not a single one succeeded.

The petition challenging the election of County Assembly Ward representative for Golf Course ward in Kibra constituency David Njoroge Kairu was dismissed on the grounds that the lawyer representing the petitioner did not have a practising certificate.

Kibera Chief Magistrate Judith Wanjala, in her judgment delivered on June 13, 2013, said that “the petition, having been filed by lawyer Boniface Njiru on March 15, 2013 when he did not hold a current practicing certificate, is incompetent and it must be struck out.”

High Court Judge David Majanja upheld the magistrate’s decision in an appeal filed before him by petitioner Mr Abraham Mwangi Njihia and instead fined the said lawyer Sh15,000 to be paid to Mr Njoroge and another Sh15,000 to be shared between the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the returning officer Ms Jane Wasilwa.

Similar scenario played out in the petition filed by Kituo Cha Sheria against the election of Embakasi Central MP John Ndirangu, formerly Nairobi mayor.

Kituo Cha Sheria was challenging his election as MP on grounds of integrity.

As the petition did not go to the root of the aggregate results, even the returning officer was not made a party. It was later struck out by Judge George Kimondo.

Among those who retained their seats include Dr Evans Kidero (Nairobi Governor), George Wanjohi (Mathare MP), Benson Kangara (Makadara MP).

A mistake by a magistrate in handling Kariobangi South Ward election petition has however caused the residents anxiety to wade past the deadline to know the fate of their elected Ward Representative Robert Mbatia.

High Court Judge George Kimondo established that the Senior Principal Magistrate Timothy Okello had erred in dismissing the election petition filed by former Nairobi deputy mayor William Kinyanyi Onyango.

Judge Kimondo allowed the appeal filed before him by Mr Kinyanyi and said that the magistrate erred in stating that bribery allegations by Mr Kinyanyi shall be investigated by the relevant arm of government and appropriate action taken.

“The election court has wide and unfettered power under the Elections Act 2011 to deal with all allegations in the petition including election offence,” explained Judge Kimondo.