Posted by LABAN WANAMBISI on August 12, 2011
KISII, Kenya, Aug 12 â€“ Kitutu Masaba Member of Parliament Walter Nyambati (National Labour Party) has lost a petition filed against his 2007 poll win, joining a long list of MPs whose election have been nullified by the High Court.
Kisii Resident Judge Milton Makhandia who delivered the ruling on Friday said the MP was elected irregularly.
Mr Nyambati’s election was challenged by Justus Omiti who had also sued a Returning Officer of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya and the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.
In issuing the ruling, the judge said the petitioner had proved beyond reasonable doubt that there were irregularities in the polls.
Mr Nyambati becomes the eleventh MP in the current Parliament to lose an election petition.
Ten by-elections have been held following the filing of successful petitions, in Juja, Makadara, Starehe, Bomachoge, Matuga, Wajir South, South Mugirango, Kirinyaga Central, Ikolomani and Kamukunji Constituency where a by-election is scheduled for next Thursday.
Only three MPs; Bonny Khalwale (Ikolomani), Bishop Margaret Wanjiru (Starehe) and Chirau Ali Mwakwere (Matuga) successfully recaptured their seats after by-elections were conducted in their constituencies.
Friday’s ruling paves way for a by-election to be held in the constituency before the next general election is conducted.
Mr Omiti was chief agent for ODM candidate Timothy Bosire. He had sued Mr Nyambati, the Returning Officer Lawrence Sempele and the Interim Independent Electoral Commission as the first, second and third respondents respectively.
In his submissions, Mr Omiti’s lawyer Otiende Amollo asked the court to nullify Mr Nyambati’s election saying the polling was marred by irregularities. He said that the petitioner and witnesses had proved beyond doubt that there were irregularities.
The hearing of the petition went through a bizarre incident in February this year when the judge was forced to adjourn the hearings after a snake reportedly attacked the lead defence lawyer Osoro Mogikoyo at his hotel room in Kisii town.
The case was put off after Mr Mogikoyo was attacked by a snake in his room at Mwalimu Hotel, and could not talk.
Mr Mogikoyo, who was in a daze, communicated in writing, saying he heard a knock and push on his door at about 4am, and when he opened the door, a huge black snake attacked him and coiled itself around his neck.
The petition has been pending since 2008 when it was filed and has so far gone through six judges.
The electoral petitions have been attributed to massive irregularities by the disbanded Electoral Commission of Kenya during the 2007 General Election.