, MOMBASA, Kenya, Oct 3 – Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu has retained his seat after the High Court in Mombasa dismissed a petition filed by former CBK Deputy Governor Jacinta Mwatela, challenging his election.
Lady Justice Maureen Odero ruled on Thursday that Mruttu was validly elected and there was no proof to show that electoral malpractices were indeed conducted.
She also said that Mruttu’s election on March 4 was free and fair and that there was no foul play by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“No electoral offence was shown to have been committed and I find no reason upon which the election ought to be nullified. I hereby declare that Mruttu was validly elected as Governor,” she ruled.
Mwatela was also directed to pay Sh2 million to Mruttu as costs.
She had claimed that the election was marred by irregularities, demanding that the election be nullified.
Odero also dismissed claims that IEBC gave two different results, with the first announcement declaring her as the winner and the second declaring Mruttu as the victor.
The court also ordered a public re-tally to address certain concerns that had been raised by the petitioner.
“Although certain irregularities were proved to have existed none of them had material effect on the outcome of the election,” she said.
After the ruling, a jubilant Mruttu addressed a crowd outside the court maintaining that he was properly elected.
He further called for unity in Taita Taveta saying time had come to start focusing on the development agenda including its education and infrastructure needs.
“None of her claims were true. My election was free and fair and the results were a reflection of the people’s choice. There are so many challenges in this County and we need to join hands and move forward with addressing them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Saboti MP David Wafula Wekesa has retained his parliamentary seat after a petition filed by his competitor Wafula Mutacho was dismissed.
Justice Abigail Mushila, who made the ruling on Thursday morning, said the petitioner did not provide sufficient evidence in his petition.
Mutacho was also ordered to pay Sh2 million as cost of the suit.
Judges are expected to issue rulings in all pending petitions by mid October.