Courts have their work cut out as 277 election petitions filed

Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Petitions received at the courts challenging results of the August 8 elections have increased by nearly half compared to the 2013 poll to hit 277 cases.

At the closure of the petition-filing window on September 8, a total of 277 cases had been lodged challenging outcomes of six elective seats.

This represents an increase of 89 from the 188 petitions filed after the 2013 General Election with the election of 31 out of 47 governors being challenged.

The judicial officers have already been trained to handle the petitions and conclude them within the set timelines.

“Virtually all judicial officers of the rank of senior resident magistrate and above, including the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judges, have been trained,” Chief Justice David Maraga said recently.

The upsurge of the cases could be as a result of the annulment of the presidential election by the Supreme Court.

Interesting to watch is a case filed by Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua who not only wants the election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru quashed but also other elective-race victories in the county.

Governors facing court challenges include Mombasa’s Hassan Joho, whose election has been challenged by former Senator Hassan Omar.

Laikipia’s Ndiritu Muriithi faces a petition lodged by a voter, Mr Sammy Ndung’u. Nairobi’s Mike Mbuvi Sonko has also been taken to court by a voter, Mr Japheth Moroko. Former Meru Governor Peter Munya has challenged the election of Kiraitu Murungi.

According to the electoral commission, Mr Murungi beat Mr Munya by garnering 280,793 against 231,420 votes.

Other governors whose wins have been challenged are Sospeter Ojaamong of Busia, Martin Wambora (Embu), Ali Korane (Garissa), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), and Kisii’s James Ongwae, who has two election petitions.

The list also has Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o ( Kisumu), Issa Timamy (Lamu), Dr Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Ali Roba (Mandera), Ali Mohamed Mohammed (Marsabit) and Zacharia Okoth Obado of Migori.

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga and Turkana’s Josphat Nanok as well as Trans Nzoia’s Patrick Khaemba are also facing petitions.