Friday, April 30, 2010


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 - Dick Wathika has became the fifth lawmaker to lose a parliamentary seat after the High Court nullified the 2007 Makadara election.

Justice Kalpana Rawal ruled in favour of petitioner Reuben Ndolo saying the poll was marred by massive irregularities.

“There were irregularities which led to the unfair declaration of the winner. Forms 16A and 17A were not signed, and this means the Returning Officer abdicated his duty,” the judge said.

She added: “The entire process was not transparent and could therefore, not have been relied to provide fair results.”

In her ruling - which took slightly more than two hours to deliver - the judge largely blamed Electoral Commission of Kenya officials for having failed to lead a fair electoral process.

Mr Ndolo who appeared composed in the packed courtroom throughout the morning, later told his supporters: "I am very happy to have seen justice delivered in this ruling.”

“I thank God for all this... the people of Makadara were denied their rightful leader, all along I have always known I won the election. I was denied my victory by the ECK, but today all the truth has been laid out,” Mr Ndolo told jubilant supporters outside the Nairobi Law Courts amid tight security by anti-riot police.

Mr Ndolo later led his supporters in celebrating his victory within city streets before heading to Makadara where he addressed more supporters with stopovers on Jogoo Road.

Mr Wathika who was also accompanied by his followers vowed to immediately challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal.

“I have already instructed my lawyers to challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal, and I am not scared by a by-election at all,” Mr Wathika declared.

Mr Wathika is a first time MP and a staunch Party of National Unity member. An accountant by training, he served as Nairobi Mayor for two terms between 2004 and 2007.

He joins former Transport Minister Chirau Mwakwere, ex assistant minister Omingo Magara and government Chief Whip George Thuo who are out in the cold and are waiting to defend their seats in by-elections.

Former assistant Minister Joel Onyancha who was the first to lose a poll petition, subsequently lost the ensuing by-election.

Housing Assistant Minister Margaret Wanjiru’s fate also hangs in the balance after former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda defeated her in a vote recount in an ongoing case. The court is yet to give its verdict on the petition.

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