, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – The High Court has now declared that Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero was validly elected, and dismissed a petition filed by his challenger, Ferdinand Waititu.
Justice Richard Mwongo who made the ruling on Tuesday stated that discrepancies noted by the petitioner in Form 36 during the election are not sufficient to render Kidero’s election null and void.
“Irregularities and non-compliance with the law had no substantial effect in the outcome of the election. In a sense, the case was not made by the petitioner. In the light of the determinations I have made, I hereby dismiss the petition and decline all the prayers sort by the petitioner,” he said.
“Pursuant to section 75 b of the Elections Act, I hereby declare Dr Evans Odhiambo Kidero whose election was questioned as the validly elected Governor of Nairobi County,” he ruled.
Speaking immediately after the verdict, Kidero described it as a fair ruling and stated that focus should now be on service delivery.
“I want to say thank you very much. I want to thank my wife Susan, I want to thank my family but above all I want to thank the very able deputy governor. I want to say to my worthy competition Mr Waititu that he is a very worthy man indeed. As we start on the journey of building Nairobi, I want to ask all residents of Nairobi to work with me. Let us build the city together,” he said.
Waititu who vied for the gubernatorial seat under The National Alliance Party had urged the court to nullify Kidero’s election, arguing that it was marred by numerous malpractices.
Following the ruling, he however conceded defeat and congratulated his opponent.
“I accept the verdict and we can now join hands and work for the benefit of Nairobi residents,” he said.
Waititu had wanted the court to nullify Kidero’s win on grounds that there were grave violations of the constitution during the elections. He says Kidero’s victory ought to have been quashed because a vote scrutiny confirmed there were discrepancies.
Waititu stated that the election was marred by massive irregularities in several polling stations with some showing the votes cast were more than the number of registered voters.
However, Kidero asked the court to uphold his victory and said that the scrutiny of votes cast confirmed that he actually garnered more votes than what was announced by the returning officer.
He pointed out that the few anomalies discovered after the scrutiny did not affect the outcome of the election.
Justice Mwongo in his ruling stated that the court had scrutinised the results and confirmed that the irregularities do not affect the outcome of the election.
He further explained that the net effect of the courts verification is that while Waititu gained 97 votes against Kidero, the governor gained 828 votes.
But even as the High Court cleared Kidero, he is still facing another challenge after the Nairobi County Assembly members convened to discuss his conduct in a motion aimed at impeaching him.