Court of Appeal nullifies election of Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe

The Court of Appeal has nullified the election of Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe Musili following a successful petition by former MP Irshad Sumra.

Sumra who is also former Embakasi South MP and who belongs to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) filed a petition challenging the victory of Mawathe who was elected on a Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) party in the Tuesday, August 8, 2017 General Election.

The appellate judges on Friday, July 6, overturned an initial ruling by the High Curt which upheld the respondent’s victory.

The High Court judge Grace Nzioka on Friday, March 2, upheld Mawathe’s election and dismissed Sumra’s application on grounds of insufficient evidence.

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Julius Mawathe was declared the winner of the Embakasi South National Assembly seat by the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) in the August 8, 2017. Photo: Mawathe Musili/Facebook.
Source: Facebook

In his petition, the former MP accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of siding with his competitor thus declaring him a winner using unverifiable results.

The Court of Appeal agreed with him citing bias by IEBC Returning Officer in the declaration of results and concluded the irregularities and mix up in final tally subverted the will of Embakasi voters.

The appellate judges said incidences of bias in the process made it impossible to declare the election as free and fair considering the margin between the two politicians was a paltry 172 votes.

The electoral commission declared Mawathe the winner of the Tuesday, August 8, General Election with 33,880 against Sumra’s 33,708 votes.

Court of Appeal Judges Daniel Musinga, Mohammed Warsame and Kathurima M’inoti concluded the election process in the constituency failed to meet the constitutional threshold.

“After considering the appellant’s grounds and the defence of the respondents, the court found out the election was not conducted according to the constitution hence the respondent was not validly elected. The second respondent (IEBC) is ordered to conduct a fresh election according to the constitution,” ruled Musinga.

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Former Embakasi South MP Irshad Sumra filed the petition challenging the election of Julius Mawathe Musili. Photo: Irshad Sumra/Facebook.
Source: Facebook

Sumra who was at the court thanked his party leadership and supporters for standing with him in pursuit of justice saying he was ready for a by election.

“We won the August 8, 2017 election but the IEBC conspired with my competitor to tamper with the results. I call on the electoral body to consider deploying an objective Returning Officer during the repeat election to ensure the contest is fair,” he said.

The ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna lauded the Court of Appeal’s decision saying the verdict granted Embakasi South voters a fresh opportunity to pick a leader who had their interests at heart.

“We are ready as today for an election. We urge Wiper candidate to consider coming back to the voters rather than pursuing this matter further at the Supreme Court,” said Sifuna.