Mutua, Loitiptip survive petitions

Mutuku Mwangangi and Murimi Mutiga

Machakos governor Alfred Mutua and Lamu senator Anwar Loitiptip on Friday survived court petitions changeling their wins during last August 8 General Election. In Machakos, High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule dismissed the case by former Kathiani MP, Wavinya Ndeti for lack of evidence and slapped her with Sh10 million as damages.

“I have come to the conclusion that this petition lacks merit…the Machakos gubernatorial election was conducted in a free, fair and credible manner,” he said amid wild cheers from Mutua’s supporters. In Malindi, High Court judge Asenath Ongeri ruled that Loitiptip of Jubilee party was also validly elected. Justice Ongeri said the petitioner Hassan Albeity of Wiper Party, did not comply with the court time lines.

“The senatorial elections on August 8, 2017 were free and fair and held as per the law,’’ she said, adding that the petitioner did not prove his claim of massive irregularities which could have affected the outcome of the elections. Albeity had moved to court seeking nullification of the results as well as an order for a fresh election. He also sought a re-count of votes in all polling stations in Lamu.

In the courtroom, Mutua who wore a confident face was sandwiched by his deputy, Francis Maliti and Mwala MP, Vincent Musyoka. In the parallel row, Wavinya sat pensively in the company of her running mate, a former East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP, Peter Mathuki.

In last year’s general election, IEBC declared Mutua winner with 249,603 votes against Wavinya’s 209,144. It was the second time the former Kathiani legislator lost a legal battle contesting the election of Mutua, after having lost a similar case in 2013.

Mutua, who addressed a crowd of jubilant supporters outside the court compound declared Friday’s ruling a great victory of the people of Machakos and a grand beginning of his bid for the 2022 presidency. “This victory is an endorsement for my 2022 presidency and I invite all Kenyans to board the train for 2022,” he said.

And in a tweet, Wavinya said: “To our friends and the people of Machakos, I thank you for your support. Your vote didn’t count and that is why I urge you all to join us in not recognising the irresponsible, arrogant and disrespectful leadership of electoral thieves.”

And Mutua’s former deputy, Bernard Kiala, said in a Facebook post which read in part, “…Wiper had a chance to get it right; it’s the end of the road now. Pick a lesson and move on as I did,” he said, congratulating his former boss.

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