The seat is mine, says Karaba

August 29, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 29 – Former Kirinyaga Central Member of Parliament, Daniel Karaba has said he is still hopeful that he could find justice for his “stolen” victory in last year’s General Election; a day after the returning officer who presided over the election admitted that he denied him the victory.

Karaba, who lost an election petition he had filed against the incumbent John Ngata Kariuki at the High Court in Nyeri on technical grounds, said he hoped to find the elusive justice at the Court of Appeal where he has lodged an appeal.

The former legislator said he believed he still had a legal recourse to win back his seat that was ‘wrongfully’ handed to Kariuki.

Lady Justice Mary Kasango dismissed Karaba’s petition on the basis that he had failed to convince the court that he had served the respondents within the stipulated time.

After losing the petition, the court further ordered Karaba to pay Sh7.4 million in costs.

His renewed hope came a day after the Returning Officer (RO) who was in-charge of the election, James Kinyanjui Gitahi, admitted before the Kriegler commission that he had declared the wrong person as having won the seat.

He admitted erroneously declaring Ngata instead of Karaba as the winner.

Gitahi confirmed to the commission on Wednesday that a re-tally had established that the former legislator had defeated the incumbent with a slim two vote margin after garnering 17,270 votes against the latter’s 17,268.

But despite apologising for handing over victory to the wrong person, Karaba yesterday said that the RO should be arrested and charged for deliberately defeating the cause of justice.

“Gitahi’s admission means that he is guilty of a deliberate offence and should thus be arrested and charged. He should pay for his errors that have since made me suffer both financially and psychologically,” he said.

Karaba has insisted that the RO colluded with Kariuki to deny him the victory. He know wants Kariuki to resign voluntarily.

Kariuki however insisted Thursday that he was the duly elected MP.

Lady Justice Mary Kasango dismissed his petition saying he had failed to convince the court that he had served the respondents within the stipulated time.

However, a determined Karaba  said he hoped that justice would be done, saying he was not completely out of options after the dismissal of the petition and the order that he pays the huge sum in costs.

The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) has been in the spotlight this week for grievous errors that were reported in the elections. Already six returning officers have testified in the commission and admitted to their errors.


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