|Written By:Margaret Kalekye, Posted: Fri, Aug 26, 2011|
Gatundu North MP Clement Waibara lost his parliamentary seat Friday, after the High Court nullified his election over irregularities.
Mr Waibara lost the election petition filed against him by Bernard Chege Mburu.
Justice Fred Ochieng’ in his ruling said the Electoral Commission of Kenya which presided over the 2007 election failed to discharge its duties lawfully since the presiding officer did not sign Form 16A as required.
Chege, a voter moved to court claiming that Waibara’s best friend Martin Kahura took a language proficiency test on his behalf to qualify for parliamentary candidacy.
He said Waibara was a school dropout who cannot articulate himself in English and Kiswahili.
He also accused the MP of electoral irregularities, including bribery of voters and causing violence before and during the December 2007 polls.
Ochieng however cleared Waibara of allegations that he was not educated and at the same time questioned the integrity of former area MP Patrick Muiruri after it was alleged he gave some people 2.1 million shillings to print for him 30 million shillings as funds for his campaigns.
The High Court however issued a four day stay for the judgment not to be executed to allow Waibara to go to the court of appeal.
Waibara joins his Kitutu Masaba counterpart Walter Nyambato who was sent packing two weeks ago.
He becomes the 12th MP in the current parliament to lose an election petition.
The nullification of the election of the Gatundu North MP was met with ululation and relief by the electorate who seemed to have been tied of the youth legislator’s failure to deliver.
On learning that the election of their MP had been nullified as expected by many, the electorate thronged shopping centers to celebrate and start discussing his likely successor.
Gatundu North Kanu branch Chairman John Karugo said once the seat is declared vacant, his party would field a candidate.
He said if those seeking the KANU ticket are more than one, then they would be subjected to nomination.
“Nobody will be given the nomination greenlight on a platter”, he said.
A resident from Makwa Gabriel Kinoru said Waibara’s exist was “good riddance” adding that during the “ousted” MP’s tenure, development had stagnated.
Parliamentary aspirants John Mwithegeo Mariga said God had given Gatundu North residents another chance to rectify the mistake they had made in 2007.
The electorate’s complaints have been falling on deaf ears about the utilization and distribution of Constituency Development Funds (CDF), Bursary Funds and the pathetic infrastructure in the constituency.
Peter Ngatia Maku, a lecturer at Kenyatta University said Gatundu residents were disappointed to learn that the man they elected in 2007 had a poor education background.
He said the nullification of Waibara’s election had given them hope to elect a person who would lead them to Canaan.
Maku said he was completing his manifesto which he will sell to Gatundu North electorate while seeking to be their next member of parliament.
Among those eyeing for the seat are engineer Joseph Mukora Wakimani, Kigo Njenga, Vincent Gaitho, Mbote Njenga and former area MP Patrick Kariki Muiruri.