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Mbugua loses Kamukunji seat

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – Simon Mbugua on Thursday lost his Kamukunji parliamentary after his election was successfully challenged through an election petition.

Mr Mbugua becomes the eighth Member of Parliament whose 2007 election has been nullified over election malpractices.

The petition was filed by Orange Democratic Movement aspirant Ibrahim Ahmed alias Johnny who lost the poll.

In her ruling Justice Mary Ang\’awa ruled that there was no valid result in the poll since it was compromised and lacked transparency.

"This cannot be termed as a free and fair election," she ruled. The results declared by the Returning Officer could not be credible and Simon Mbugua was not elected validly," she added. "I hereby declare the results null and void."

The judge said the defunct Electoral Commission and its officers erred in announcing Mr Mbugua the winner yet there were reports and evidence that ballot boxes were missing.

She also said that there were reports of cases of violence as was shown in a video that was produced in court as evidence.

The petition has dragged for three years with complaints of \’delaying tactics\’ as a result of several applications.

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Following the endorsement of the new Constitution, Mr Mbugua had argued that current judges were not competent to hear the case until they are vetted afresh.

The hearing of the Kamukunji election petition stalled further after the two judges hearing the case disqualified themselves.

In October last year Justice Fred Ochieng\’ disqualified himself after remarks were made against him suggesting that he had been influenced.

In June, Justice Kalpana Rawal pulled out of the case after receiving threatening messages from unknown persons.

Two MPs Bishop Margaret Wanjiru ( Starehe) and Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere (Matuga) successfully recaptured their seats after by-elections were conducted in their constituencies.

There is an upcoming by-election in Kirinyaga Central where Ngata Kariuki was also sent packing over glaring irregularities.

A number of election petitions are still pending in court include that of Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale and Walter Nyambati of Kitutu Masaba.

Jubilant supporters of Mr Ahmed jammed the court corridors bringing business there to at a standstill.

Mr Ahmed later took a ride on the back of a camel around the city centre as he celebrated his victory while his supporters sang and ululated.

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