Thursday, 28 March 2013

Africog wants Bomet and Nyeri presidential poll results cancelled

African Centre for Open Governance (Africog's) lawyer Kethi Kilonzo at the Supreme Court. Photo/BILLY MUTAI  
African Centre for Open Governance (Africog's) lawyer Kethi Kilonzo at the Supreme Court. Photo/BILLY MUTAI  Nation Media Group

Posted  Wednesday, March 27  2013 at  20:17

A civil society group wants the presidential election results for Bomet and Nyeri counties cancelled over alleged discrepancies in what was announced by the returning officers and the final tally read at Bomas of Kenya.
The Africa Centre for Open Governance’s (Africog) counsel Kethi Kilonzo Wednesday presented video evidence to support the organisation’s argument that the votes for President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta were inflated and those of the other candidates reduced.
The two counties voted overwhelmingly for Mr Kenyatta in the March 4 General Election and cancelling the results could see him not attain the 50 per cent plus one vote required by the Constitution for one to be declared the election winner.
“Elections with such irregularities do not meet the standard. There is only one conclusion that this court can make, presidential election was not valid,” said Ms Kilonzo.
Mr Kenyatta was declared President-elect on March 9 by the independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission having garnered 50.07 per cent of total votes cast, passing the mark by 8,419 votes to avoid a runoff.
The video played at the Supreme Court showed Nyeri County returning officer reading the votes for Mr Kenyatta as 317,881 and for Mr Raila Odinga, who is also challenging the results, as 6,075.
Ms Kilonzo said the summary of Form 36 declared at Bomas of Kenya, however, gave Mr Kenyatta 318,880 votes and Mr Odinga 5,638 votes.
She said Africog’s audit of results announced at constituency level and those declared at Bomas showed a discrepancy of more than one million votes.
The video also showed a form posted on a wall showing the results as announced at the tallying centre which Ms Kilonzo said was different from that on Form 36 presented in court. Results from all polling stations in a constituency were tallied on Form 36.
Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, appearing for Mr Kenyatta, and Paul Nyamondi, for the IEBC objected to the presentation arguing that Ms Kilonzo had introduced new evidence.
The six Supreme Court judges, led by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, allowed her to proceed saying the respondents would raise the objections during the time allocated to them Thursday.
Ms Kilonzo said the failure of the electronic voter identification and the tallying system gave room for manipulation of the result.
She further identified Charity Primary School polling station in Kieni Constituency and Machakos County as other areas where the number of registered voters was less than the number of total votes cast.
In Charity Primary, she said, there was only one registered voter according to the principal register but Mr Kenyatta garnered 310 votes. The presiding officer, she claimed, did not indicate the number of registered voters on Form 34.
In Machakos, she said, there were 125 special voters but according to Form 36 there were 125 voters with no biometric characteristics.
On Form 36 the number was shown as 3,182. She asked the Director of Public Prosecution to be enjoined to take over the criminal investigations of those who were involved in the alleged manipulations. George Oraro, Mr Odinga’s lawyer, called for the cancellation of the result on the grounds that the whole election was flawed.
He said Mr Kenyatta’s margin above the 50 per cent mark would vanish with proper scrutiny.
“What happened was taking a few votes from one candidate and increasing for the other. If we establish this, the court has a mandate to set aside the elections, it’s not a discretion it’s a constitutional requirement,” said Mr Oraro.
The Supreme Court Wednesday identified issues for determination in the petition as whether Mr Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto were validly elected and declared as President-elect and Deputy President-elect and whether the presidential election was free, fair, credible and conducted in compliance with the law.
It will also rule whether the rejected votes should have been included in determining final tallies of votes in favour of each presidential candidate.

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