, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 8 – National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende has formally declared the Kitutu Masaba parliamentary seat vacant.
Mr Marende issued writs for the constituency on Thursday afternoon, paving the way for the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) to hold a by-election in 90 days time.
The seat fell vacant on August 12 when Kisii Resident Judge Milton Makhandia nullified the election of Walter Nyambati whose election was contested by a petitioner.
Mr Nyambati’s election was challenged by Justus Omiti who had also sued a Returning Officer of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya and the Interim Independent Electoral Commission for massive malpractices.
In issuing the ruling, the judge said the petitioner had proved beyond reasonable doubt that there were irregularities in the polls.
A by-election in the constituency must now be held before December 8 when the 90 day-period expires.
It will be the 11th by-election to be held under the current Parliament.
Ten by-elections have been held following the filing of successful petitions, in Juja, Makadara, Starehe, Bomachoge, Matuga, Wajir South, South Mugirango, Kirinyaga Central, Ikolomani and Kamukunji constituencies.
Only three MPs; Bonny Khalwale (Ikolomani), Bishop Margaret Wanjiru (Starehe) and Chirau Ali Mwakwere (Matuga) successfully recaptured their seats after by-elections were conducted in their constituencies.
Most recently, the High Court in Nyeri nullified the election of Gatundu North MP Clement Waibara due to irregularities but he got a temporary reprieve on Thursday when the Court of Appeal stayed the execution of the
judgment for a period of two months.
This effectively means that Mr Waibara will continue serving as the area MP until the appeal is fully determined.
The petitioner who successfully ousted Mr Nyambati was chief agent for ODM candidate Timothy Bosire.
In his submissions, Mr Omiti’s lawyer Otiende Amollo asked the court to nullify Mr Nyambati’s election saying the poll was marred by irregularities.
He said that the petitioner and witnesses had proved beyond doubt that there were irregularities.
The hearing of the petition went through a bizarre incident in February this year when the judge was forced to adjourn the hearings after a snake reportedly attacked the lead defence lawyer Osoro Mogikoyo at his hotel room in Kisii town.
The case was put off after Mr Mogikoyo
claimed to have been attacked by a snake in his room at Mwalimu Hotel, and could not talk.
Mr Mogikoyo, who was in a daze, communicated in writing, saying he heard a knock and push on his door at about 4am, and when he opened the door, a huge black snake attacked him and coiled itself around his neck.