NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – The High Court in Machakos has nullified the election of Patrick Musimba as the Member of Parliament for Kibwezi West and ordered for a fresh poll, after ruling that the counting of the March 4 ballots was improperly conducted.
Musimba becomes the second victim of the electoral petitions following Justice David Majanja’s decision on Thursday morning.
The judge had earlier intimated that he might declare Kalembe Ndile as the automatic winner after a vote recount placed him ahead with 16,891 votes against Musimba’s 16,773 votes.
Ndile termed the ruling as unfair because the vote recount showed that he had won the election and that the Judge had already found that there were no irregularities with the voting itself.
“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission told us to go to Court if we had an issue and we moved to Court. When we came here we were not coming to challenge the voting exercise but the counting itself,” he said.
Ndile maintained that the judge should have declared him the automatic winner after establishing that the counting process had a problem.
“The Judge himself found that I had won so why didn’t he just declare a winner?” asked the leader of The Independent Party (TIP).
More than 180 electoral petitions had been filed across the country within the first 28 days, following the General Election.
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 Woman Representatives have also been filed in addition to 65 petitions against County Assembly Representatives.
Matungulu MP Stephen Mule of the Wiper Party was the first casualty of the petitions after losing his seat on July 30 at the Machakos High Court. Lady Justice Lillian Mutende declared that his election was tainted with anomalies and a by election was inevitable.
At the time the Court heard that some polling centers were opened late and closed early in addition to some agents and even candidates being locked out of some tallying centers.
The High Court in Kisumu is on August 23 also expected to determine whether or not Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga was validly elected after a petitioner moved to Court claiming that his election was fraudulent.
Through a petition filed by William Oduol, who was also vying for the seat, argued that Rasanga was irregularly elected and that there were instances of massive ballot stuffing.
A petition challenging the election of Kisumu West MP John Olago Aluoch is also due for determination.