Losers go to Court to challenge election of two MPs

A Narok High Court has commenced hearing of two election petitions in which two parliamentary losers have challenged the election of Johanna Kipyegon Ng’eno and Gabriel Tongoyo Koshal as Emurua Dikirr and Narok West Members of Parliament (MPs) respectively.

When the cases came up before the Narok Resident Judge, Justice Justus Bwonwonga on Thursday, the petitioner in the Johanna Ng’eno case, David Kipsang Keter through his lawyer, Manyonge Wanyama asked the Court to allow him leave to file further affidavits and prepare some video evidence which they intended to use their case.

Meanwhile, the petitioner in Gabriel Tongoyo case, Stanley Taparia Mpoe through his lawyer, Karanja Mbugua on his part, applied to have an affidavit of one witness struck out after the witness withdrew from the case and also applied to file further fresh affidavits in his case.

The Court granted the prayers in the two cases and the cases will now come up for pre-trial hearing on October 17.

In his petition, David Kipsang Keter avers that the elections in Emurua Dikirr were marred with violence, intimidation and destruction of property and were not therefore free and fair.

In his affidavit, Keter states that indeed there was so much violence meted out on his agents and supporters during the period preceding the elections that several houses belonging to his supporters were torched and others vandalized.

He says the violence meted out on his supporters by the supporters of the opponent who won was meant to intimidate and frighten his voters from voting for him.

Keter cites an example of Hillary Rotich and his agent Kibet Rono who were injured on the day preceding and during the elections day on August 8 by people who were shouting ‘makiwole’ in Kipsigis language which meant ‘we are not changing our MP’.

Keter, who contested the seat on Jubilee Party ticket and emerged second with 13, 707 votes against KANUs Ng’eno who garnered 16, 098, now wants the Court to declare the election null and void and order a repeat election.

In another twist of events, the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had two sets of results where Ngeno was declared winner with 16, 098 votes in one but the other results from Forms 35B showed that he, (Ngeno), actually garnered 15, 832 votes against Keter’s 13, 475.

He has named the Constituency Returning Officer, Lilian Okoth and IEBC as Second and Third Respondents in the case.

In his petition, Taparia Mpoe who contested the seat on a Jubilee Party ticket and emerged second with 14, 110 votes against Chama Cha Mashinanis (CCM) Koshal who garnered 14, 746 votes, claims that the elections were marred with irregularities and were not free and fair.

He also avers that his agents were denied access to some of the polling stations and were not given copies of forms 35A which were used to tally the parliamentary results to his agents as required by law, adding that it meant the results could not be verified.

Mpoe also claims that the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) did not have a proper mode of tallying the votes, leading to his votes being stolen and added to those of the opponent who won.

He states that the difference of only 600 votes between him and his opponent was occasioned by this deductions from his votes.

Mpoe also avers that 60 per cent of the voters in the Constituency were illiterate hence they needed help to vote but the IEBC officials exploited this to the advantage of his opponent who won as the illiterate voters were not accompanied by somebody as required by the law.

The officials would then tick on the ballot on behalf of the voter instead of the accompanying person as required by the law, he claimed.

He has named the Constituency Returning Officer, Noah Kiplangat Biama and IEBC as Second and Third Respondents in the case.

Five petitions were filed in Narok High Court to challenge some of the winners in the August 8 Elections. Three others have been filed in lower courts to challenge the election of some County Assembly Members (MCAs).

A parliamentary loser, Julius Lekakeny Sunkuli, moved to Narok High Court to challenge the election of Gideon Sitelu Ole Konchellah as Kilgoris Member of Parliament (MP). This petition will now be heard before the Bomet Resident Judge Martin Muya.

A gubernatorial petition against Narok Governor, Samuel Tunai was set for review after the petitioner applied to withdraw it in a surprise turn of events.

Justice Bwonwonga will rule on the matter on October 11 as to whether to allow the petitioner to withdraw the case or have him proceed with it.

Further, two Senate seat losers; Nkoidila Ole Langas, who is now the Narok County Assembly Speaker and Albert Kiplangat also moved to Narok High Court to challenge the election of Ledama Ole Kina as Narok Senator. This petition will be heard by the Naivasha Resident Judge Christine Meoli.

Source: Kenya News Agency