Court dismisses petition against MP Charles Kilonzo
5 months ago, 19 Jan 13:16
A petition challenging the election of Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo was on Friday dismissed and the petitioner Francis Mwangangi ordered to bear costs. Justice Aggrey Muchelule ordered Mr Mwangangi to pay Sh2.5 million to both the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and to Mr Kilonzo. While delivering the judgment Justice Muchelule observed that the petitioner had failed to prove his case. "I find the claims that the election of Yatta MP was marred with irregularities has not been proved," said Judge Muchelule. He ruled that the petition was filed out of time as it ought to have been filed on September 6th, which was the last day of filing as per the constitutional timelines instead of September 7th. He said the petitioner had claimed that his agents were denied access to polling stations but did not specify the agents and the polling stations they were denied access to. Further the petitioner had alleged his agents did not sign forms but the judge ruled that failure to sign could not in itself invalidate an election. He further said the petitioner should have made a formal report on whether his agents were denied permission to sign the forms. On the issue of the IEBC Returning Officer Nicholas Karimi being a voter in Yatta Constituency, the judge ruled the issue had not been pleaded in the petition and no evidence ought to have been tendered to that effect. Mr Mwangangi immediately denounced the judgment and said he will appeal. He said it was strange that the judge had dismissed all his pleadings as lacking evidence. He urged his supporters to take courage. "Take courage. Finding justice is not easy. We will soldier on as we seek legal advice," he said outside the court. His lawyer Andrew Makundi also expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment. "The judge is entitled to make his judgement. "Our appeal will be purely on matters of law," said Mr Makundi. Charles Kilonzo on his part welcomed the decision of the court and extended an olive branch to the former MP and his supporters. "Yatta belongs to all of us. I welcome my opponents to join me in developing the constituency," he said.
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