Voter found guilty of hiding ballot papers

A Murang’a court on Monday found a middle aged man from Kiharu constituency guilty of interfering with polls materials during the August 8 elections.

Stephen Kibe, a voter registered at Murarandia polling station, was charged with putting two unmarked ballot papers in his pocket belonging to senatorial and ward representative seats.

During the hearings, the first witness Shadrack Mwangi who was the presiding officer told the court that the accused marked and dropped four ballots papers in respective boxes and left with the other two.

Mwangi said he noticed that Kibe had skipped two ballot boxes, and he questioned him on why he failed to cast the two ballot papers, but the voter failed to respond.

One of the polls clerks Esther Wairimu also stated that she saw Kibe putting two ballot papers in his pocket.

Together with security officers, we searched the accused’s pockets and we found the two unmarked ballot papers, added the presiding officer.

Other witnesses paraded by the prosecution included a police officer Edith Njeri, who arrested Kibe after committing the offence.

Njeri said after searching Kibe’s pockets they found two unmarked ballot papers prompting his arrest. The prosecution presented the two ballot papers before the court as exhibit.

In his defense, Kibe said he was in hurry and he arrived at the polling station few minutes before the polling exercise was closed.

Principal Magistrate Antony Mwicigi said the facts presented before the court by the prosecution were beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused committed the electoral offense.

Mwicigi added that to conceal election materials without the consent of IEBC official was a crime and the defense given by the accused was weak.

In his mitigation, Kibe pleaded for leniency saying he was confused and he has a responsibility to take care of his family and that of his deceased sister.

The magistrate ordered that the court be provided with accused’s probation report.

The case was scheduled for mention on November 18.

Source: Kenya News Agency