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September 21, 2018

Ongwae, Nyagarama shift focus to legacies

Governor James Ongwae, senator Sam Ongeri and Woman representative Janet Ong'era celebrate after the Court of Appeal upheld Ongwae's win
Governor James Ongwae, senator Sam Ongeri and Woman representative Janet Ong'era celebrate after the Court of Appeal upheld Ongwae's win

Kisii governor James Ongwae and his Nyamira counterpart John Nyagarama have pledged to transform their counties and leave behind a legacy.

The two spoke separately on Thursday afternoon after the Court of Appeal in Kisumu upheld their election.

“I can now focus on my legacy as I promised the people of Kisii. For a whole year we have wasted time in the corridors of justice. I feel this yoke is off my shoulders,” Ongwae said.

“Legal battles drain, strain and waste a lot of time that should have been focused on development. We will however recover the time lost as we endeavour to serve the Kisii people as promised.”

Speaking in Nyamira town, Nyagarama said he will use the remaining four years to fulfil his campaign promises.

“We have spent time in court but that is now behind us. I want to assure you that my administration will work to fulfill the promises we made during campaigns,” he said.

Justice Stephen Gatembu on Thursday ruled that the appeal against Nyagarama was filed at the wrong registry.

He said the petitioner, Walter Nyambati, had introduced new evidence in the appeal that was not in the initial petition at the High Court.

Nyambati wanted the court to overturn Nyagarama’s victory on grounds of voter bribery and malpractice.

Ongwae said he will fully support President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. “With the handshake we seek to ensure that the political divide that was there before is overcome,” he said.

Ongwae was accompanied in court by his wife Elizabeth, Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, Senator Sam Ongeri, Woman Representative Janet Ong’era and ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna.

Ongeri said: “This victory is a victory for all of us. We campaigned as a team in ODM and when the governor is vindicated it’s indicative of victory for all of us.”

Ong’era said elected leaders will work together to transform Kisii county.

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