A man who filed a petition against the election of Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter is now appealing for financial assistance from Kenyans after he lost the case and failed to raise the Sh6 million suits costs slapped on him by the Court of Appeal.
Bernard Kitur, who came second in the August 8 polls, on Thursday called on Kenyans of goodwill to come to his aid and help him raise the amount.
“I was pondering my next move when a group of friends who had encouraged me to move to court to challenge the poll outcome encouraged me to seek assistance from Kenyans. The response is encouraging,” Mr Kitur told the Nairobi News by phone.
“I call on Kenyans to support me as I don’t have the capacity to raise the money.” Kitur has opened a pay bill to crowd-fund.
He had enjoyed brief victory after High Court Judge Kanyi Kimondo nullified Keter’s victory win on March 1 and ordered Mr Keter to pay Mr Kitur Sh1 million.
On Thursday last week, Mr Kitur got a big blow after the appellate judges Erastus Githinji, Fatuma Sijale and Anna Okwengu sitting in Eldoret ruled that Mr Keter was validly elected and slapped Mr Kitur with Sh6 million fine. The amount will be shared equally between IEBC and Mr Keter.
Kitur is now complaining over the high fines slapped on petition losers, which he said would discourage people aggrieved by election outcomes from seeking justice in court.
“Election petitions should not be highly priced. It should not be only for the super-rich,” said Mr Kitur.
Justice Githinji, who read the ruling on behalf of other judges, said the petitioner Bernard Kitur did not prove claims that Mr Keter engaged in electoral malpractice by campaigning beyond stipulated the time
“The petitioner did not prove that the MP committed election offence by campaigning after the stipulated time and bribing voters as he relied on hearsay and his win is hereby upheld,” said Justice Githinji.
Through his lawyer Otiende Amollo, Mr Keter had dismissed claims that he campaigned beyond the stipulated time saying that he was exercising his freedom of association as stipulated in the constitution.
Mr Amollo had argued that reasons that led to the nullification of his client’s victory, that he campaigned beyond stipulated time, were untrue.
The electoral commission declared Mr Keter of Jubilee the winner in the August 2017 general election garnering 28,923 votes against Mr Kitur’s 13,872 votes.
Robert Kemei, a voter in Nandi Hills, first filed the petition but withdrew it ahead of the hearing citing pressure from his family.
Mr Kitur then took over as the main applicant.