Petitioner loser cries, faults judiciary for his woes

Wiper Parliamentary candidate for Machakos Town constituency seat in last year’s general elections, Urbanus Mutisya has faulted a High court’s decision that dismissed his petition against the election of current legislator, Dr. Victor Munyaka.

The one time Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) national treasurer said it was shocking that none of the evidence he presented before the court was considered when arriving at Tuesday’s ruling.

Mutisya now claims there appears to have been a deliberate attempt by the Judiciary to dismiss as many election petitions as possible even where there was adequate evidence to nullify an election.

He said it was surprising that out of the 300 petitions that had so far been filed before various courts in the country, only six were nullified.

I don’t want to say that the ruling was fair. It appears that some of us who are not on a certain direction of politics are definitely discriminated upon. Therefore I suspect something happened but I don’t want to involve myself in it, he claimed.

Mutisya said the number of votes under contention during the August 8 elections was 20, 000 and not 5, 000 as had been declared by the court.

He said he brought ample evidence including photos of people being bribed by the third respondent which the court dismissed without scrutinizing.

He nevertheless said he would be consulting his legal team on the next appropriate move to take.

Yesterday, Justice David Kemei in his ruling termed the five grounds advanced by Wiper Mutisya in his petition as lacking merit.

The court also slapped Mutisya with a Sh.4 million bill as cost for the suit to be paid shared between the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Dr. Munyaka.

Kemei blamed the petitioner for what he described as engaging in a futile fishing expedition in his petition instead of availing hard facts that could have helped in his suit.

He said Mutisya similarly failed to avail any witness to testify on the alleged harassment by IEBC officials or supporters of the third respondent as had been claimed.

Electoral matters require high standards of proof. The petitioner however, seems to have forgotten this and instead decided to go on with a fishing expedition instead of tabling facts that could have proved his case, he said.

The judge further questioned why the petitioner never informed the IEBC officials or security agents about the bribery issue which could have led to Dr Munyaka being barred from contesting in the election.

He also concurred with the poll body on the reasons that led to discrepancies that were witnessed in some stations and ruled that the mistakes were not enough to warrant the nullification of the entire exercise.

The burden of proof in any election dispute lies with the petitioner and there is always need for higher standards of proof. Article 41 of the Constitution together with article 96 of the Election Act prohibits the nullification of any election unless irregularities witnessed substantially affect the final outcome, he said.

Mutisya, who garnered 29, 713 votes against Dr Munyaka’s 44, 185 votes during the August 8 elections, had cited several allegations in his petition ranging from voter bribery, intimidation to his supporters, votes’ discrepancy and presence of unsigned and unstamped election forms as part of the basis for his petition.

Source: Kenya News Agency