Court upholds election of Mary Wambui in Othaya

The election of Mary Wambui as Othaya Member of Parliament has been upheld by the High Court in Nyeri.

Justice Jarius Ngaa dismissed the petition filed by March 4 poll-loser Peter King'ara ruling that Wambui's election was generally free and fair.

Wambui, who was represented by the lawyer Cecil Miller, expressed great pleasure at the ruling and while flanked by her celebrating supporters, pledged to continue to serve the residents of Othaya diligently.

King'ara had challenged Wambui's election on the grounds that she was not qualified to hold the office of legislator as she did not even hold a Kenya Certificate of Primary Education certificate.

He had also alleged that she did not possess the integrity that is required of public office holders as stipulated in Chapter six of the Constitution.

Among the electoral malpractices King'ara had accused her of are voter bribery and the manipulation of electoral officers; the very same allegations Gichuki Mugambi levelled against her at the nomination stage.

Wambui's win came barely two days after the Court of Appeal dismissed another application by King'ara for the recount of the March 4 parliamentary votes. Wambui garnered 16,285 to King'ara's 14,218.

It's been an uphill battle for Wambui in her bid to secure the Othaya seat with the battle beginning even before the nomination stage when the incumbent then, President Mwai Kibaki, was thought to back her opponent Mugambi.

Kibaki's son, Jimmy, was vocal in his support of Mugambi and criticism of Wambui on the campaign trail but she was eventually awarded The National Alliance (TNA) ticket for which she fought Mugambi.

Mugambi however challenged her nomination with the party before eventually moving to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Nomination Disputes Resolution Committee.

But as Justice Ngaa has, the committee ruled in her favour despite the contention that she bought her way into elective office.

Wambui remains the National Assembly Representative of Othaya which prior to her election had Kibaki as its MP for 34 years.

This article was published by CAPITAL FM NEWS on September 12