KISUMU, Kenya, Sep 30 – The High Court has upheld the election of Nyando Member of Parliament Fred Outa following a petition filed by an aspirant challenging his election.
Justice Aggrey Muchelule sitting in Kisumu ruled that Outa was validly elected as the Nyando MP and dismissed the petition by Ford Kenya candidate Jared Okello who listed a litany of alleged malpractices during the campaigns and subsequent polling day.
In his petition Okello said there was voter bribery and vote stuffing at a number of polling stations.
He said that there were incidents of broken Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) seals at the main tallying station at the Ahero Multi Purpose centre.
Okello also said in his petition that IEBC agents campaigned for Outa who was the third respondent in the petition and that the MP gave out constituency development fund cheques during his campaigns.
He also claimed that names of dead voters or those who were sick at home had been crossed out on the register to signify that they had voted.
The petitioner also said that his agents were locked out of tallying centers.
But while delivering his two-hour judgment, Judge Muchelule noted that there was no proof that Outa gave out cheques to voters in order to woe them.
“The allegation of giving out cheques at campaign rallies is null and void since there is no proof,” he ruled.
Justice Muchelule also said that there was no death certificates produced to show that indeed dead people voted.
“It is interesting that those who were said to have been purported to have voted yet they were sick at home did not swear affidavits nor were they produced in court as witnesses,” he said.
The judge also said that the agents of the petitioner signed Forms 35 yet they are said to have been locked out of tallying centers.
Justice Muchelule said that the petitioner’s chief agent Onyango Jamsumba did not make any formal complaints at the various polling centers due to the anomalies they presented before court nor did he come and testify before court.
He further observed that there was no basis about the broken seals being found at the main tallying center if counting of votes had been done at the tallying centers.
“What purpose were they going to serve if counting of votes had been at the tallying centers?” he posed.
The judge earlier rejected a plea for a recount and scrutiny of votes since the issue came up after the close of the case and that the areas sited for scrutiny were not in the main petition.
Justice Muchelule ruled the petitioner will pay Sh2 million as costs to be spread to the respondents.
Okello however said he will appeal against the judgment at the court of appeal and if possible at the Supreme Court.
“The will and wishes of the people of Nyando constituency must be heard. I will stop at nothing to ensure the election of Outa is nullified,” he said after the judgment.
On his part, Outa hailed the Judiciary for upholding his election and thanked the people of Nyando for remaining steadfast with him during the case.
He said he will continue with the developments he had initiated to ensure Nyando constituency becomes a model constituency.