31 March 2007

Kenya: I Won Kisauni Seat, Mwaboza Tells Court

Nairobi — Mr Anania Mwaboza knew he had won the Kisauni by-election before the official results were announced, he told the High Court in Mombasa yesterday.

The by-election was conducted two years ago after the death of Local Government minister Karisa Maitha.

Mr Mwaboza said his agents at various polling stations kept informing him about the results as they were being announced by presiding officers.

Based on the information, he concluded that he had won.

The assistant minister for Immigration was testifying in the Kisauni election petition filed by Mr Ali Hassan Joho, one of the losers.

He said he was certain that the double marked votes that emerged during the recount and scrutiny had initially been cast in his favour.

Asked how he was able to establish this, he said majority of the double marked ballots bore extra marks besides those against his symbol.

However, Mr Mohammed Balala, for Mr Joho, said the votes could have been cast in favour of the other candidates.

Mr Mwaboza asked for a ballot box from one of the polling stations where double marked votes were found saying he would demonstrate the votes were his.

"There was a deliberate attempt to reduce my votes. I cannot spoil my own votes to defeat myself," he said and urged that criminal investigations be launched.

Raised a complaint

He further said the results announced by the returning officer after the by-election were to the satisfaction of all party agents as no one complained. The results showed he had won with a margin of 1,081 votes.

But Mr Balala showed him the declaration form that was supposed to have been signed by all the party agents which indicated that out of 11 agents, only three had signed.

"It can therefore not be true that the results were accepted by all the candidates," he said.

Meanwhile, the court has directed parties in the petition to open all the boxes that were disputed during the scrutiny and recount and narrow the areas of dispute.

This should be done on April 13, after which the court will fix a date to examine the votes and rule on them. The mention is on April 24.

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