Friday, 24 May 2013

Ballot box seals ‘were broken’

Posted  Thursday, May 23  2013 at  21:05

Broken electoral commission seals were found thrown outside some tallying centres, a court hearing a petition challenging the election of the Siaya governor was told.
Mr Matthews Omondi, who was the chief campaigner for petitioner William Oduol, told the High Court in Kisumu that he first discovered the broken seals at Sawagongo Secondary when he went to pay agents working for him.
“I saw a lot of broken seals at the school. They were lying on the ground outside the hall where tallying was taking place,” said Mr Omondi, adding that he took photos of the seals before collecting them.
He said he picked other seals at Chianda High School and also at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University.
The court accepted the green seals as exhibits.
The photos of the seals were however rejected by Mr Justice Aggrey Muchelule because the witness had not supplied their copies to the respondents.
Murder claims
Like the petitioner, Mr Omondi also alleged foul play by ODM luminaries in the county during the campaign period, which he said was aimed at making Mr Oduol unpopular.
He claimed that Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo called Mr Oduol a murderer in a number of rallies.
“I attended a rally in Bondo one Saturday. In the course of Mr Midiwo’s speech, he told people to be quiet as he had something serious to tell them. That is when he said that Mr Oduol was a murderer who had shot his wife. He even showed some photos of the wife to people who had attended the rally,” said Mr Omondi, adding that Mr Midiwo repeated the message in other rallies.
The witness also told the court that fake campaign posters depicting Mr Oduol as a Jubilee Alliance supporter were distributed.
He said that one Joseph Oluoch had pleaded guilty to the charge of distributing fake campaign material and had been duly convicted.
Oluoch is one of those arrested distributing posters that bore a photo of Mr Oduol’s superimposed with that of Jubilee leaders Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.
According to the petitioner, the posters were a propaganda tool meant to tarnish his name and depict him as anti-Raila.
Mr Omondi was the second witness in the petition challenging the election of Mr Cornell Rasanga as the Siaya governor.

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