, NAIROBI, Kenya, April 11 – The Court of Appeal in Kisumu on Friday nullified the election of Silverse Anami as Shinyalu Member of Parliament and ordered a fresh poll.
Justices Onyango Otieno, Patrick Kiage and Agnes Murgor nullified Anami’s election after finding that poll violence denied the people of Shinyalu a free and fair election.
The appellant Justus Kizito, who was a former Shinyalu MP, had accused Anami of being behind the torching of his car on the eve of the March 4, 2013 General Election as he was delivering accreditation to his agents. [READ: Ex-MP flees as car set ablaze in Kakamega].
“We were attacked by people who stopped us at a narrow road and pelted us with stones. They forced us out of the car and stole our belongings then burnt our car, luckily we are alive,” he stated immediately following the attack.
By its decision on Friday, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s judgement that Anami had been validly elected into office.
The High Court found that there was indeed violence as alleged. “However, that violence was not traceable to anybody, leave alone the 3rd Respondent (Anami). I have also found that the violence was isolated and had no effect on the voting,” High Court Justice E.K.O. Ogola had adjudged.
“Indeed, in all the surrounding polling stations, near the scene of the attack, there was high voter turn-out. This isolated and unfortunate incident, which is not traceable to the 3rd Respondent, cannot be a ground upon which to base a decision to nullify an otherwise credible electoral result,” The judge found.
Anami denied any involvement in the attack both before the High Court and the Court of Appeal but the higher court found that regardless of who was behind the torching of Kizito’s Range Rover, valued at Sh15 million, the integrity of the electoral exercise had been compromised by the act.
Justice Ogola had disagreed with this position when he gave his judgment on October 4, 2013.
“What would stop a rogue candidate, upon sensing defeat, from self-inflicting violence with the hope that the ensuing results would be nullified?” he posed. “The court cannot allow this to happen.”