Thursday, June 24, 2010


Wajir South MP Abdirahman Ali Hassan wants a petition challenging his election to be dismissed.
Saying that the petitioner- Mr Mohamud Muhumed Sirat- had failed to prove his case, Mr Hassan urged Justice Luka Kimaru to dismiss the petition.
According to his lawyer, the few anomalies noted during the December 2007 elections were as a result of high illiteracy levels in the area.
Through Mr Emmanuel Wetangula, the MP said 90 per cent of residents were illiterate hence the reason they had to be assisted in voting. Mr Wetangula further said Mr Sirat relied on hearsays but totally failed to prove allegation of malpractices.
Mr Hassan of Kanu won the seat in the last General Election but Mr Sirat of ODM-K moved to court disputing the results. A recount ordered by the court confirmed that Mr Hassan had won the vote.
Two ballot boxes were, however, not opened for scrutiny and recount after they were left behind when the rest were transported to Nairobi from Wajir. Two ballot boxes from another constituency were instead transported leaving behind boxes from Eyrib Dam and Kanjara polling stations.
“An election takes place within cultural and historical factors of an area. Taking into consideration the nature and terrain of the constituency, special factors come into play which affect how an election is undertaken,” said Mr Wetangula.
Prove case
The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) through lawyer Arnold Onganda supported Mr Hassan saying the petitioner had failed to prove his case. According to the lawyer, the conduct of the electoral body in Wajir South was above board.
He added that owing to illiteracy levels in the area, ECK employed a fifth clerk to assist voters.
But Mr Sirat through lawyer Kethi Kilonzo faulted the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya for relocating some polling centres on the voting day. According to her, some voters were disenfranchised.
Ms Kilonzo pointed out some discrepancies such as missing seals and unsigned forms 16A in the ballot boxes.
Justice Kimaru will give his judgment on July 16.