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Coast poll casualties consider legal redress

Coast political giants who lost in last week’s General Election could be headed to court in the face of dwindling fortunes and a bleak political future.

In Mombasa County, sources close to Jubilee Party candidate Suleiman Shahbal and Wiper’s Hassan Omar, who both lost to Governor Hassan Joho, indicated that the two could go to court over alleged electoral malpractices.

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Mr Shahbal’s running mate, Ananiah Mwaboza, said he could not rule out the court option but urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to audit the process, claiming the exercise was marred by malpractices.

“We expect IEBC to initiate an audit of the voting process on its own and the police to pursue electoral officials who tampered with the ballots in Changamwe and Likoni. We want a repeat of the Mombasa governor election,” Mr Mwaboza said.

Mr Joho garnered 220,000 votes, Shahbal 69,372 and Mr Omar 44,000.

Kilifi governor candidate Gideon Mung’aro, who lost to Amason Kingi, has vowed to pursue legal and political options as he termed the elections a “sham”.

We’re dissatisfied

“We are dissatisfied with the elections in Kilifi and want IEBC to cancel them. We are also calling for calm as we pursue legal and political solutions to this matter,” said Mr Mung’aro.

He cited cases of fraud particularly in Kaloleni, where electoral officials were allegedly caught tampering with ballots in a bar.

Mr Kingi (ODM) garnered 280,686 votes while Mung’aro of Jubilee Party got 56,447.

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Kazungu Kambi of Kadu Asili, who came third with 43,570 votes, also vowed to seek legal redress following alleged malpractices.

“I have written letters to the Kilifi returning officer, Nelly Ilonngo, and IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati as required by law and we are going to seek redress in court. We want a repeat of the polls in Kilifi County,” said Mr Kambi.

Outgoing Kilifi South MP Idd Mustafa of Jubilee, who lost to Ken Chonga of ODM, claimed it was impossible for the Orange party to sweep all 35 county assembly, seven National Assembly, governor, senator and woman representative seats unless there was fraud, and vowed to make the county government unmanageable.

In Kwale County, Wiper candidate Chirau Mwakwere bitterly protested the victory of Governor Salim Mvurya (Jubilee), claiming he had gathered evidence on malpractices that could be sustained in court.

“I have witnessed the stuffing of ballots and unmanned polling stations. This process was a total fraud and I am contemplating taking legal action,” said Mr Mwakwere.

Mr Mvurya scooped 115,614 votes, Mwakwere 27,657 and Issa Chipera of ODM 27,747.

The dismal performances of Mwakwere and Dr Chipera – both of NASA – is largely seen as the result of bitter infighting as neither one agreed to step down for the other to face the incumbent, whose political clout appeared to have grown owing to a well-oiled campaign machine.

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Pwani University lecturer Hassan Mwakimako said youthful politicians like Omar still had a chance to clinch the governor’s seat in 2022, unlike the older ones such as Mwakwere who he said should consider retiring from politics.

According to Prof Mwakimako, court options might not be viable for many politicians unless they have watertight evidence.

Lamu Governor Issa Timamy also rejected the results of the election that favoured his Jubilee rival Fahim Twaha.

Timamy’s fate

“The Lamu governorship election were characterised by many malpractices and violence was meted out on my supporters,” claimed Mr Timamy.

It was a closely contested election in which Mr Twaha polled 22,969 votes and Timamy 22,420.

Swaleh Salim (Wiper), who garnered 2,484 votes, and ODM’s Abdallah Mohamed (1,086), were seen to have sealed Timamy’s fate during last week’s election because they both come from the same region and belong to the NASA fraternity.

In Tana River, Governor Hussein Dado (Jubilee) has remained tight-lipped since he lost narrowly to former Galole MP Samuel Godhana of ODM.

A source close to the governor said he was yet to disclose his next move after the surprise loss in a race that ended in violence.

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In Taita Taveta, Governor John Mruttu, who ran as an independent candidate, has thrown in the towel after losing to newcomer Granton Samboja of Wiper.

Mr Samboja got 39,252 votes against Mr Mruttu’s 23,150 while Jubilee’s Danson Mwazo garnered 22,220.

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