NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – The Court of Appeal on Wednesday struck out an appeal filed by former Kathiani Member of Parliament Wavinya Ndeti challenging the High Court’s judgment that declared Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua validly elected.
Justices Erastus Githinji, Roselyn Nambuye and Kathurima M’inoti struck out her appeal on the grounds that it was filed late – 67 days after Justice David Majanja gave his judgement – as opposed to within 30 days according to the electoral law.
“Having so found, it is not necessary to pronounce all the merits of the appeal. Accordingly, the first preliminary objection by the fourth and fifth respondents is upheld and we so order that the appeal be and is hereby struck out with costs to all the respondents,” Githinji ordered.
The preliminary objection to Ndeti’s ruling was made by Mutua’s lawyer Mutula Kilonzo Junior who had argued that the deadlines set within election law rendered Ndeti’s appeal redundant.
“Parliament has enacted law to ensure election disputes are heard quickly unlike the past where elected leaders could stay for a period of five years and election disputes are determined two months to the election,” he said immediately following the Court of Appeal’s judgment.
Mutua expressed great pleasure at the Court of Appeal’s decision and said it allowed him to get back to the business of serving the people of Machakos.
“People can run for seats and not have to bribe anybody to win their seat. And I’m glad but we have more work ahead of us and so it’s maendeleo chap chap in Machakos and I can’t wait to get back and supervise the construction of some badly needed roads for our people,” he said.
Ndeti on her part urged her supporters, “not to lose heart,” as she consults with her lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui and decides what step to take next.
She had move to the High Court following the last General Election and challenged Mutua’s election as Machakos Governor on the grounds that he was guilty of electoral malpractices.
Majanja however found that she had failed to make her case and upheld the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s declaration that she had lost to Mutua by more than a 150,000 votes.