Judiciary sets date for pretrial conference of Kidero’s petition against Governor Wanga
The pretrial conference of the petition challenging the election of Gladys Wanga as Homa Bay Governor will be held on Friday, October 7, the Judiciary has announced.
Justice Roselyn Aburili will preside over the case filed at Homa Bay High Court by former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.
"Pre-trial hearing for the election petition against Wanga at High Court in Homa Bay takes place on Friday, October 7, 2022, at 9.30 am. Justice Aburili will preside the same," the Judiciary said in a notice.
In his detailed petition challenging Wanga's election as the second governor of Homa Bay County, Kidero claims that "Men in Black" helped Wanga in her election through violence and intimidation of other candidates.
Kidero alleges that the “organized criminal gang known as the Men in Black” was deployed by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party to cause violence and terrorize the candidates, who ran for the seat as independents or on other political outfits.
The former county boss alleges that the ODM party and Wanga recruited the 'Men in Black' ostensibly to cause violence, and threaten his supporters and election officials.
Kidero also claims that the goons caused valso hacked his supporters to death during the polls conducted on August 9.
He claims that despite filing a report with the police no action has been taken against the notorious gang.
Apparently, his agents made various reports to the police and will adduce specific OB numbers in court during the hearing of the petition.
“It is our position that by virtue of this violence, which is actually an electoral offence, the elections for Governor of Homabay County as conducted by the IEBC did not meet the basic threshold under Article 81 (e)(ii) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The elections cannot be any means be termed to have been a free and fair election,” Kidero states.
Wanga was declared the winner of the gubernatorial polls after garnering 244,559 votes against Kidero’s 154,182 votes.
In the petition, Kidero claims that the election cannot be allowed to stand “in view of the very grave possible bout of criminalities committed by or in favour of Wanga and her deputy Joseph Magwanga’s candidature”.
Together with his co-petitioner Elijah Odondi Kodo, they state that the violence led to voter suppression and allowed time for the “goons” to mete violence on certain officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
He adds that his agents were denied access to the polling stations while others were ejected by “strangers” who worked together with the “Me in Black”.
“The evidence places Wanga right at the centre of the violence. Firstly, she stood to benefit most from the systematic plan,” Kidero alleges.
“Secondly, evidence will show that in concert with the ODM, the IEBC and various of its officials, she filled polling stations across the county with agents, more than six in a polling station in certain instances that purported to be her agents, yet the law only allows her one agent,” he further claims.
He also attributes his loss to calls by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for voters to elect only the ODM’s candidates within Homabay County, in what came to be known as “voting six piece”.
“The said remarks specifically targeted my candidacy and amounted to intimidation of the Petitioners and improper and/or undue influence on the electorate contrary to the basic principle of the electoral system under Article 81(e)(ii) of the Constitution.
The said remarks also amounted to discrimination against the Petitioners’ candidature based on ethnic origin and political affiliation,” they claim.
Subsequently, the petitioners say, similar remarks were repeated by various leaders of the ODM party across the entire County and in a coordinated fashion.
They further allege that the said remarks profiled them as outcasts and enemies of Homa Bay County and the Luo ethnic community at large for not honouring the demands of the ODM party leader.
They attribute the election loss to misinformation and propaganda allegedly peddled by the ODM’s luminaries against anyone daring to vie against a candidate sponsored by the party.
With the said ODM wave and violence, they stated that it was “literally like campaigning in a war zone”.
“…You just never know when the gang would strike a rally, leading everyone to scamper for safety with broken limbs, bloody cuts and in certain times, death, in their wake,” the petitioners state.