Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria Friday suffered a political setback after his nomination as Jubilee Party nominee for the top county seat was declared null and void following a successful challenge by his rival Jamleck Kamau.
The Political Parties Dispute Tribunal directed the Jubilee Party to organise and conduct fresh primaries in the county within 96 hours. The tribunal chaired by Kyalo Mbobu held that the party failed to conduct free and fair nominations in the county that saw 53, 614 votes cast in excess of the number of registered party voters.
The tribunal faulted the party for failing to give Kamau a fair hearing, adding that his appeal before the Jubilee Party Appeals Board was dismissed without hearing his side of the story.
“The tribunal finds that the initial nomination was not free and fair and neither did the party internal mechanism gave the applicants a fair hearing,” ruled Mbobu.
The suit had been filed by Kamau, Maina Gatundu, Francis Muthee, Paul Kuria and Felista Murigi. Wa Iria, in the nominations garnered 200, 5976 votes against Kamau’s 118, 274.
Kamau had told the tribunal that malpractices in the county were allowed by the presiding officers who did nothing to stop the electoral offences. He also alleged that there were wide spread ballot stuffing and voter bribery.
His contention was that Jubilee did not use the correct register. Following the judgment, Wa Iria orally asked the tribunal to suspend its decision to allow him to pursue an appeal at the High Court, but his request was rejected.
“We have expressed ourselves in this matter. To entertain such an application when we all know the prevailing timelines is not impossible. The prudent thing to do is for the respondents to speedily process the proceedings and file an appeal before the High Court by tomorrow,” said Mbobu.
Meanwhile, the High Court has reversed the decision by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal that declared Wanjiku Muhia as the Jubilee nominee for Nyandarua Women’s Representative.
Justice Stella Mutuku ruled that the Political Parties Tribunal breached the Constitution by declaring Muhia the duly elected nominee for the county representative. The judge declared Faith Wairimu Gitau as the bonafide nominee, saying her win had been unlawfully taken away.