, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – The CORD coalition has suffered yet another blow after the High Court nullified the election of one of its co-principals, Moses Wetang’ula, as the Bungoma Senator.
The petition was filed by former nominated Member of Parliament Musikari Kombo.
In nullifying the election, Justice Francis Gikonyo ruled on Monday that there was overwhelming evidence to prove that Wetangula was irregularly elected during the March 4 General Election.
He noted that there were numerous instances of voter bribery, double registration, interference of the vote tally and double voting.
Kombo filed the petition, after losing to Wetangula during the March poll saying that there were massive irregularities by both the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Wetangula.
He noted that his agents were intimidated, denying him a fair chance in the game.
However a vote recount in 49 out of 802 polling stations showed Wetang’ula leading with 11,601 votes against Kombo’s 10,498.
The ruling comes barely two weeks after one of the lawyers representing Kombo in the petition was shot dead in Bungoma.
Wetangula is the minority leader in the Senate and is the only CORD co-principal to make it into an elective post following the March poll.
CORD luminaries led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga were in court when the verdict was made and said they disagreed with the court’s decision.
“They were targeting the CORD Summit, which has Moses Wetang’ula, Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga as its principals. They thought that if they target Wetang’ula, who is our leader in the Senate, they will weaken us. What happened in there was politics and not based on law,” Odinga said after the judgment.
“We are leaders who have been put into elective office by the electorate; we do not go to the courts to look for victory. We will face meet our competitors at the ballot box,” Wetang’ula added.
He becomes the first Senator to lose his seat following an electoral petition.
Other Senators who have survived the petitions include Lamu’s Abu Chiaba and Kwale’s Boy Juma Boy.