Kidero’s petition: High Court orders recount of votes in 7 constituencies across Homa Bay

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 22 Nov, 2022 11:58 | 3 mins read
Gladys Wanga secures landslide victory against Kidero in Homa Bay race
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Homabay Governor Gladys Wanga. PHOTO/Courtesy.

The High Court has ordered a recount of votes in 7 constituencies across Homa Bay County as the dispute over the August Gubernatorial election continues.

Justice Roselyne Aburili issued the directive noting that the petitioner Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero had proved a prima facie case to warrant the recount of votes and scrutiny of forms 37As,37Bs and 37C in the seven constituencies he had cited electoral malpractices after it emerged that Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) recorded disparities in the figures from the constituencies in the county.

"I find that the petitioners (Kidero and his deputy Elijah Odondi) have laid a prima facie and sufficient basis to warrant scrutiny and recount. I find that the petitioners have laid a sound basis to the effect that Forms 37 A, Forms 37B and Form 37C should be scrutinized. Likewise, the scrutiny and verification of the KIEMs kits data used in the August 9, 2022 Gubernatorial election in HomaBay County," ordered Judge Aburili.

Accordingly, the recount of votes and scrutiny shall be carried out in the seven constituencies namely Kasipul, Rangwe, Suba South, Kabondo Kasipul, Ndhiwa, Suba North and Homa Bay town.

The judge however ordered the recounting exercise to be carried out under the direct supervision of the Deputy Registrar of Homa Bay High Court in the presence of each of the parties' four agents led by the IEBC officials.

"A report thereto shall be filed by the Deputy Registrar as soon as possible and parties shall be allowed to submit on the same finding during the hearing of the main petition," Justice Aburili ordered.

The order follows a suit by Kidero who is seeking to nullify Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga's victory on claims that the polls in the county were marred with massive irregularities, voter bribery, swapping of results, voter suppression and voter manipulation that compromised its integrity.

This, he says, was made possible by outright violence, which in some instances was presided over by security officers and provincial administrators.

“The petitioner submits that the flaws and irregularities that characterized the gubernatorial elections; which we particularise hereunder, unlawfully subverted the sovereign will of the Homa-Bay County electorate,” the petition reads.

The ex-city boss claimed that his competitor was the beneficiary of the calculated violence and voter bribery that were allegedly masterminded and executed by ODM’s "men in black".

Kidero alleges that the “organized criminal gang known as the Men-In-Black” was deployed by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party to cause violence and terrorize the candidates vying as independent or other political outfits.

He claims that reporting the violence to the police bore no fruits and that members of the gang are known across the county; “it is an open secret”.

His agents made various reports to the police and will adduce specific OB numbers in court during the hearing of the petition. However, to date, there has been no progress in the investigations, says Dr. Kidero.

“It is our position that by virtue of this violence, which is actually an electoral offence, the elections for Governor of Homabay County as conducted by the IEBC did not meet the basic threshold under Article 81 (e)(ii) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The elections cannot by any means be termed to have been a free and fair election,” he stated.

Wanga was declared the winner of the gubernatorial polls after garnering 244,559 votes against Kidero’s 154,182 votes.

In the petition, Kidero claims that the election cannot be allowed to stand “in view of the very grave possible bout of criminalities committed by or in favour of Ms Wanga and her deputy Joseph Magwanga’s candidature”.

Together with his co-petitioner Elijah Odondi Kodo, they state that the violence led to voter suppression and allowed time for the “goons” to mete violence on certain officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“The petitioners aver that where he got the majority of votes his results were swapped with impunity by the fraudulent presiding officers and/or deputy presiding officers,” he said.

“Some of the swappings were done with impunity and are discernible from the face of the different Forms 37A,” the petition reads.

Kidero cited Ringa Primary School and Ongeti Primary School polling stations.

He said voter bribery was experienced at Kisui Primary School, Nyakango Primary School, Bolo polling station, Ragogo Primary School, Kogonda, Osuri Primary School, Omiro Polytechnic, Umai Primary School and Kojwach Primary School.

Kidero added that results declaration forms were altered in various stations.

The hearing of the petition resumes on Thursday, November 24.

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