Bishop Wanjiru appeals recount orders

October 22, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 22- Starehe Member of Parliament Margaret Wanjiru now wants the Court of Appeal to halt a vote recount and scrutiny in her constituency as ordered by the High Court on September 22.

Bishop Wanjiru’s lawyer Chacha Odera told Judges Samuel Bosire, Emmanuel Okubasu and Joyce Aluoch on Wednesday that the High Court’s order was premature, arguing that only five of the 15 witnesses for petitioner Maina Kamanda had testified.

He also questioned why the returning officer had not been called to respond to Mr Kamanda’s claims in his petition that ballot boxes were broken and seals damaged.

However, Mr Kamanda’s lawyer Kioko Kilukumi opposed the application saying that it was ‘in the interest of justice’ that election petition matters are expedited. The Electoral Commission of Kenya, which is named as a respondent in the case has not objected to the recount and scrutiny of votes.

In the mean time, lawyers for the three parties have agreed to plead with High Court judge Kihara Kariuki to continue with other witnesses in the case, pending the Court of Appeal ruling on the matter slated for November 21.

Justice Kariuki had earlier declined to suspend hearing of the petition saying the election court could not be kept waiting for the outcome of an appeal, at the expense of the expedition of election matters.

In the petition, Mr Kamanda maintains that there were irregularities in the tallying process which resulted into conflicting voter turnout figures beside there being a high voter turnout during the election.

Cholmondeley guilty: state

Elsewhere, the prosecution in a murder case against Naivasha rancher Tom Cholmondeley has submitted before the High court that it has done enough to prove that the affluent farmer killed a stonemason.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko, in his final submissions, told Justice Muga Apondi on Wednesday that he tabled 62 exhibits which have indicated Mr Cholmondeley’s involvement in the death of Robert Njoya two years ago.

Mr Tobiko also said the rancher had also admitted having a gun and firing it during the incident.

The DPP discounted claims that Mr Cholmondeley suffered stress disorders arguing that the issue was never raised by the accused person himself during trial, despite his lawyer’s attempt to advance it.

“It is clear, My Lord, that the accused person did not suffer from any psychiatric illness. His memory, concentration and attention are normal,” said Mr Tobiko. “He never mentioned anything about the alleged convulsions in his un-sworn statement to this court.”

Mr Cholmondeley was put on self defence in August in which he denied having shot the stonemason and has been May 2006 and has been in custody since his arrest.



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