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August 21, 2018

Court orders scrutiny, recount of votes in 90 stations in Nyamira

Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama /ALVIN RATEMO
Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama /ALVIN RATEMO

The High Court in Nyamira yesterday granted orders for the scrutiny and recount of votes in 90 polling stations in a case challenging Governor John Nyagarama’s victory.

Of the 90 polling stations, 16 will undergo recount and scrutiny of votes, 46 polling stations will be subjected to vote scrutiny, while there will be a vote recount in 28 stations.

The recount and scrutiny should be done before December 13 when a report will be given to the court.

The application for scrutiny and recount of votes in the August 8 governor election was made by petitioner Walter Nyambati.

The petitioner seeks to overturn the governor’s election and had asked the court to secure election materials.

Justice James Makau said he is satisfied with the evidence given by the seven petitioners’ witnesses.

The court also directed the IEBC and returning officer David Towett to transfer ballot boxes to a location that will be identified by the IEBC to ease scrutiny of the votes.

The court also directed that each party is at liberty to have a maximum of two agents.

The court further ruled out the presence of members of the public, supporters and party members during the exercise.

Makau directed Nyamira police station OCS to provide security during the process of the vote scrutiny and recount. 

Nyambati, who contested on the Jubilee ticket, challenged the governor results, saying the entire process was full of malpractices and irregularities.

Nyagarama of ODM was declared winner after he garnered 63,949 votes. 

He defeated Nyambati, who came second with 58,936 votes.

Nyambati is represented by lawyer Kennedy Nyaencha. 

Nyagarama is represented by lawyers Nyagaka Nyachiro and Erastus Orina.

The IEBC and returning officer David Towett are represented by lawyers Jackson Nyamweya and James Mamboleo.

Last month, the High Court voided an affidavit sworn by a key witness in the petition.

Justice Makau ruled that Bob Ndubi could not testify in the case as his affidavit had no date, hence, was defective.

Lawyer Nyachiro had argued that an affidavit, which is not dully signed and dated according to the Elections Law, could not be relied on in court as a genuine document.

He said it would be wrong for the court to allow parties to produce documents that do not meet the mandatory statutory requirements.

In his case, Nyambati had argued that the election was not fair, saying it was managed by employees of the county government.

He said the results in some polling stations were cooked, adding that there is no way candidates would get the same results in a polling station. 

“The exercise was not free and fair. It was compromised since senior officials who were in charge during the election were answerable to Nyagarama,” Nyambati argued

He also cited chaos at various polling stations, saying the violence affected the credibility of the process.

Nyambati said various polling stations reported more votes cast than the number of registered voters. 

He named Nyasio Primary School, where the number of registered voters is 493, but the declared valid votes cast were indicated as 815.

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