Supreme Court rejects poor men’s petition against Uhuru

Harun Mwau’s petition papers are delivered to the Supreme Court on Monday. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Harun Mwau’s petition papers are delivered to the Supreme Court on Monday. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A petition challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in the October 26 repeat election — brought to court by two men who described themselves as paupers — has been rejected.

Supreme Court Deputy registrar Daniel ole Keiwua rejected petition by former university student leaders George Bush and John Chengo.

The two men wanted the court to allow them to file the petition challenging President Kenyatta’s win without paying the mandatory fees, which amounts to about Sh1.5 million.

The Sh1 million is meant for security for payment of costs, while the filing of the court papers can run up to Sh500,000, depending on the volume of the documents.

The two former Moi University student leaders filed a pauper’s brief, which allows a poor person to move to court without paying court fees.
In their court documents, Mr Bush and Mr Chengo claimed that they lived in “mud-thatched house without windows” in Huruma Estate, Nairobi.

They said getting a meal, leave alone three meals a day, is a privilege. They attached their M-Pesa transactions as proof of the penury.

Order 33, rule 16(1) of the civil procedure act states “If any defendant alleges that he is unable to pay court fees the registrar, upon application being made for that purpose, shall inquire into the question of his poverty and if he is satisfied on oath that the allegation of poverty is true, shall record the result of his investigation and a statement of proportion of the fees (if any) which the defendant is able to pay.”

The two argued that the withdrawal of National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga from the repeat poll affected the election.
They also said the fact that poll was not held in more than 25 constituencies affected the outcome.

Mr Keiwua said the petition did not conform to the Supreme Rules and that it failed to meet the legal threshold for filing presidential election petition.

But three other presidential election petitions went through and parties are now expected to serve the respondents in two days.

One of the petitions was filed by former assistant minister Harun Mwau and another by Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa. Both seek the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win.

Mr Mwau says in the petition that IEBC violated article 82 1 (b) and 2(a, b) of the constitution by failing to comply with the mandatory requirement by subjecting the eight presidential candidates to fresh nominations.

A fourth petition, filed by Institute of Democratic Governance seeks to have Opposition leaders led by Mr Odinga held liable for violence and damages during the period of fresh presidential election.