Eseli’s election as Tongaren MP upheld

The election of Eseli Simiyu as the Member of Parliament for Tongaren was yesterday upheld by the High Court in Bungoma.

The case had been filed by John Chikati who had contested the election on a UDF ticket. Chikati cited several malpractices in the exercise.

Chikati said that Eseli had colluded with election officials to influence their recruitment exercise with a view of rigging the elections by allowing dead voters to vote.

Chikati further said that his agent were harassed by Eseli and scared away from polling stations with some, closing as early as 2pm. Chikati had also told court that the statutory forms that were used to declare results were not signed as required by law.

Giving the ruling, Justice Francis Gikonyo said that Chikati had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt all his allegations and therefore dismissed the petition.

“The onus of proof beyond reasonable doubt is a precedent set by the Supreme Court in the last presidential elections , and this court holds the same view,” said Gikonyo.

He noted that Chikati failed to call witnesses who physically saw malpractices saying his agents failed to bring their letters of appointment as party agents in court.

Gikonyo ruled that Eseli who vied on a Ford-Kenya ticket was elected freely and fairly saying some human errors experienced could not change the final results and ordered Chikati pay the costs.

This article was published by THE STAR on October 1, 2013.