, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – Matungulu MP Stephen Mule of the Wiper Party has lost his parliamentary seat in a petition after the High Court in Machakos ruled that his election on March 4 was tainted with anomalies and that a by-election is inevitable.
Justice Lilian Mutende ordered a repeat poll following the successful petition filed by four poll losers including Thomas Musau Malinda of the New Democrats party, Moffat Maithya Muia (National Rainbow Coalition), Makenzi John Nthuli (Chama Cha Uzalendo) and Stephen Ndambuki Muli (Orange Democratic Movement).
Mule becomes the first casualty of the many election petitions filed across the country and whose verdicts are set to be released soon.
Justice Mutende ruled that there were numerous anomalies in Mule’s election, where he garnered 12,297 votes followed by Malinda’s 9,940.
Muia came in third with 8,775 votes, while Nthuli garnered 4,377 votes and Ndambuki 3,494 votes.
Other candidates in the race were Titus Kativini Kyalo (1,017 votes) and Obadiah Mutisya Kitonyi (187 votes) but they were not party to the petition.
“It was admitted that there were typographical errors that occurred where the third respondent garnered 120 votes that were wrongly entered as 126 in form 36,” noted Justice Matende.
The court had heard that some polling centers were opened late and closed early in addition to some agents being locked out of some tallying centers.
Muia told the court how he was kicked out of a tallying center even though he was also vying for the Matungulu seat.
And even though the court ordered a vote recount, which still placed Mule ahead of his opponents, Justice Mutende maintained that the aforementioned irregularities jeopardised the principles of a fair and transparent poll.
At least 180 electoral petitions were filed across the country within the 28 days, following the General Election, as set out by the Constitution.
According to the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei there are a total of 23 petitions challenging the election of Governors; 12 against Senators and 71 against Members of the National Assembly.
Nine petitions touching on County Women Representatives have also been filed in addition to 65 petitions against County Assembly Representatives.