Inside Politics

Reprieve for Kinangop MP Zachary Thuku after court quashes petition challenging his win

Friday, January 27th, 2023 21:58 | By
Kinangop MP
Kinangop MP Zachary Kwenya (centre) with his supporters celebrate outside Nyahururu law courts after the High Court dismissed an election petition challenging his victory. PHOTO/Courtesy

A petition challenging the election of Kinangop Member of Parliament (MP) Zachary Thuku Kwenya of Jubilee has been dismissed and the UDA petitioner ordered to pay Ksh2.5 million.

Dismissing the petition, Nyahururu judge, James Wakianga said Ksh500,000 of the money is to be paid to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that was the first respondent while the rest will be paid to Kwenya, who was the second respondent.

In the petition, Amos Chege had accused Kwenya of voter bribery and claimed that the votes were improperly tallied.

He claimed that the election was marred with massive irregularities, voter bribery, swapping of results, voter suppression and voter manipulation that compromised its integrity.

The petitioner submitted that the flaws and irregularities that characterized the election unlawfully subverted the sovereign will of the electorate hence calling on the court to nullify the result of the Kinangop constituency parliamentary seat.

During the hearing of the petition, Chege stunned the court when he alleged that Kwenya won the election after using 'bewitched' money to bribe voters.

"Maybe the money was bewitched because my voters would later claim that they did not know how they changed their mind from voting for me," the petitioner told the court, noting that he was the most popular candidate vying on a popular political party.

However, while dismissing the petition Justice Wakiaga said that the petitioner failed to prove and substantiate all his claims.

He ruled that there were a lot of contradictions in the petition and that claims of voter bribery were mere allegations that lacked specifics and were not backed by any tangible evidence.

“The evidence presented before this court was unsubstantiated, weak and failed to meet the evidential threshold. This court, therefore, rejects the petition,” Justice Wakiaga ruled.

He said that the court had also found that the IEBC conducted the polls in compliance with the constitution.

"What the petitioner had pointed out has been satisfactorily explained before this court by IEBC. I, therefore, find and hold that Zachary Kwenya Thuku was validly elected in the election conducted on August 9, 2022, as Member of Parliament for Kinangop constituency," the judge.

Kwenya was re-elected for a second term in office on a Jubilee Party ticket having garnered 39,338 votes against the petitioner’s 34,842 votes.

Speaking after the ruling, the MP lauded the court for upholding his victory.

“I am thankful that the court has upheld my victory. May God also bless the judge for his wise ruling and we pray that God grant him promotion. Now I can comfortably work and deliver the pre-elections pledges I pledged to my people of Kinangop,” said elated Kwenya who was joined by hundreds of his supporters.

Later, the MP and his supporters took to the streets of Nyahururu town, Friday, to celebrate.

The mob brought Kenyatta street in Nyahururu town to a standstill causing vehicle jam despite people in the town not aware of the petition or knowing the MP physically.

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