We’re still crafting petition – CORD

Secretary General of the Wiper Democratic Movement Mutula Kilonzo told journalists that lawyers representing the coalition were doing meticulous work and will file the petition within the seven days/CFM

Secretary General of the Wiper Democratic Movement Mutula Kilonzo told journalists that lawyers representing the coalition were doing meticulous work and will file the petition within the seven days/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – The Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) on Monday maintained that it was still preparing its petition to the presidential election and urged for patience from its supporters.

Secretary General of the Wiper Democratic Movement Mutula Kilonzo told journalists that lawyers representing the coalition were doing meticulous work and will file the petition within the seven days provided for by the law.

He said: “We have noticed an element of anxiety about the CORD petition, but it’s completely unnecessary. The constitution gives parties aggrieved by the presidential election seven days to file; those days are not granted by the constitution in idleness it is because of the enormity of the petition.”

“CORD is a law abiding coalition and we will file our petition when we are ready in accordance with the constitution,” added the former Justice Minister.

Kilonzo, who was accompanied by Siaya Senator-elect James Orengo, however complained that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was withholding information that the coalition sought to use in its petition.

“One of our obstacles is that we have demanded for certain information from the IEBC. That information is not forthcoming and we have not received any explanation,” Kilonzo added.

“We are put in a situation where the IEBC does not want these documents inspected; it obviously means that there is something wrong with their records. There are documents you cannot inspect, but the form 34, 35 and 36 should be availed,” Orengo said.

In response, the commission said that the information CORD was asking for was bulky and could not be processed within a day.

Communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi told Capital FM News that the commission would make it available the information on forms 34 and 36 within the shortest time possible.

“We are talking about 33,000 forms which have to be photocopied; the two batches are not doable in a day. We have nothing to hide and will avail all that information to them,” she said adding that copies of the forms were also pinned on doors of polling stations.

Form 34 is filled by the presiding officer at each polling station while form 36 is filled by the Constituency Returning Officer and contains results recorded from all polling stations in the constituency.

Kilonzo and Orengo who are part of the legal team for the coalition say that they will still have a water-tight case even if the documents are not made available to them.

According to CORD, there was massive tampering of the March 4 vote and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ignored its claims of serious irregularities in the tallying of the presidential vote.

“It will make our case stronger… in fact part of the case will be that IEBC has blocked access to the information. We (he and Orengo) were not born yesterday and have handled many petitions. We should be given this information for free but it now seems like we are extracting teeth,” Kilonzo retorted wittingly.

Outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga, CORD’s presidential candidate, announced on Saturday that he will challenge results of the presidential election that put him in second place after Uhuru Kenyatta.

Odinga who refused to concede defeat had claimed that voter numbers were reduced in their strongholds, citing Ndhiwa Constituency, while votes were increased in the strongholds of the Jubilee coalition.

“It is clear that a constitutionally sanctioned process of electing the new set of leaders to take us to the next level has been thwarted by another tainted election,” said Odinga.

Journalists and supporters of the CORD coalition spent Monday waiting for the CORD legal team to file its petition in vain. The lawyers instead stayed away compiling the petition.

Other lawyers in the CORD legal team include George Oraro, Pheroze Nowrojee, former Attorney General Amos Wako, Budalangi MP-elect Ababu Namwamba and Bungoma senator-elect Moses Wetangula.

The CORD principals are expected to meet all elected candidates under the coalition on Wednesday.

LORDRICK MAYABI

Lordrick is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. He is passionate about political and governance issues. He also takes keen interest in human rights matters, justice and is fond of sports.