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February 18, 2019

Wambora, Kivuti share platform after poll ruling

Embu governor Martin Wambora
Embu governor Martin Wambora

A week after former Embu senator Lenny Kivuti failed to remove Governor Martin Wambora in an election petition, the two archrivals shared a platform.

Wambora and Kivuti came face-to-face on Sunday at Full Gospel Church of Kenya in Mutondori, Embu North subcounty.

They joined DP William Ruto’s wife Rachael during a thanksgiving ceremony for retired Rev Samuel Muriithi. Manyatta legislator John Muchiri was present.

Wambora extended an olive branch to Kivuti, saying he is ready to work with him and other county leaders for the sake of development.

"My last message is to my brother here, Lenny Kivuti. Earlier this morning, I got a revelation that from today I’m going to work with all the leaders — the senator, MPs, MCAs, former senator, former minister Joe Nyaga and others," Wambora said.

Kivuti, who had spoken earlier, did not respond to the olive branch. He also did not comment on the ruling on the election petition in which the Court of Appeal upheld Wambora’s election last year.

The ruling by Justices William Ouko, Daniel Musinga and Fatuma Sichale was on August 17. The court set aside a February 22 judgment by High Court judge William Musyoka, who nullified Wambora’s election.

The Court of Appeal said the trial court dealt with issues that were not raised before it and the minor irregularities that occurred during scrutiny did not warrant nullification of the results.

Musyoka in his judgment had said elections in Embu were marred with massive irregularities.

The judge had said the anomalies that occurred during the elections were immense and it would be a “travesty” to wish them away.

But the three judges said Kivuti did not prove his case. The court said Musyoka erred when he held that the election was not in line with the Constitution.

"That burden [of proof] was not discharged and therefore the learned judge erred in invalidating the appellant’s election," they held.

Kivuti has filed a notice of appeal against the judgment to have the case heard by the Supreme Court.

The former Senator has named the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Embu returning officer, Governor Wambora and David Kariuki as respondents.

The former senator wants the Supreme Court to nullify Wambora’s election and call for new poll.

Since the judgment, the two have not met face-to-face but have been attending public functions separately.

After the judgment, church leaders called for end to their rivalry so development can take place.

They included Embu county’s Bishops and Pastors Fellowship chairman Silvanus Nyagah, his secretary Reverend John Gachungi and Redeemed Gospel Church Bishop Samuel Nginye.

Wambora and Kivuti assured Rachael Ruto that the Jubilee leaders in Embu will campaign for the Deputy President in 2022.

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