15 March 2014

Kenya: Court Upholds Oparanya's Election As Kakamega Boss

THE Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed an appeal challenging the election of Wycliffe Oparanya as Kakamega governor. In the unanimous ruling of a three-judge bench, the court said the case had no merit.

In his application, appellant Mable Muruli said Oparanya was not elected within the stipulated electoral Act. Muruli through lawyer Dismus Wakla said she was unlawfully excluded from participating in the March 4, 2013 general election.

The bench comprising of Festus Azangalala, Jamila Mohammed and Sankale Ole Kantai said Muruli failed to provide sufficient evidence to nullify the election. Kantai said Muruli failed to provide a degree certificate or relevant documents to the IEBC before the nomination deadline.

The court said she submitted a diploma certificate yet the qualification of the gubernatorial seat was a degree. Muruli told the court the electoral body failed to clear her for nomination, which stopped her from contesting for the gubernatorial seat.

She said she was unfairly treated even after obtaining a court order compelling IEBC to include her name in the ballot. IEBC lawyer Wangechi Thanji said Muruli failed to submit the required documents in time.

Muruli told the court that IEBC declined to include her name citing cost and logistic challenges. Thanji and Oparanya's lawyer Ken Nyaundi said the appellant's appeal lacked merit as she did not provide the required nomination documents.

Muruli said her diploma is equivalent to a degree in UK and in Kenya by convention despite securing a letter from the Commission of Higher Education confirming that. After securing the letter, she submitted it with other documents on February 4, 2013 yet the deadline was February 1.

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