Appeals Court throws out Karua evidence bid

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua yesterday suffered a technical blow after the Court of Appeal rejected her application to offer additional evidence in her appeal challenging the dismissal of her petition against the election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

Appellate Judges Roselyne Nambuye, Hannah Okwengu and Gatembu Kairu ruled it would be premature to determine some of Karua’s grievances relating to the gubernatorial election before the appeal was heard with the participation of all the parties on October 1.

The court said it was clear from submissions by the politician and rival arguments by the other parties that the key issues were already captured in the main appeal and deserved to be addressed during the comprehensive hearing.

However, they allowed Karua and lawyer Gitobu Imanyara to file their formal arguments within five days and serve the documents on lawyers acting for Waiguru, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Kirinyanyaga County Returning Officer Seki Lempaka. Waiguru, through lawyers Paul Nyamodi and Kamotho Waiganjo, has filed a cross-appeal seeking the striking out of Karua’s case.   

The Appellate Judges directed the parties to exchange the necessary paper-work within the agreed time-lines to facilitate the expeditious hearing of the appeal. Karua had asked for an earlier date but the court pointed out that its heavy work-load will resume once the vacation ends on September 15.

Karua and her running-mate Joseph Gitari are aggrieved by the dismissal of their election petition by Justice Lucy Gitari, sitting in Kerugoya, on June 14. This was the second time the Judge had thrown out Karua’s petition against Waiguru and Deputy Governor Pete Ndambiri after the intervention of the Court of Appeal.

Karua, who is seeking the nullification of Waiguru’s election during the polls held on August 8, last year, has protested that the former powerful Cabinet Secretary was elected through irregularities, voter-bribery and intimidation of her agents. The politician says the election, in which she garnered 122,091 votes against Waiguru’s 161,373 votes, was not free and fair.

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