The High Court has nullified the election of Gatundu North MP Anne Wanjiku Kibe on the ground that the exercise was marred by irregularities and malpractices.
Justice Joel Ngugi, sitting in the Kiambu High Court accused IEBC officials of failure to comply with electoral law and conduct a free and fair election in the constituency.
The court however, absolved the incumbent of any wrongdoing and ordered that IEBC which the judge declared was responsible for the nullification meets her legal costs to the tune of Sh 3 million.
The electoral body was also ordered to pay the petitioner, former Gatundu North MP Clement Waibara, Sh 1.5 million in legal fees.
Ms Kibe who was not in court when the verdict was delivered as she is currently out of the country, said through her lawyer Jesse Oduor that she is planning to appeal.
In his petition Waibara had listed 30 grounds claiming that the August 8, 2017 election was not free and fair and the will of Gatundu North voters did not prevail.
Through his lawyer Evans Ondieki, the former legislator argued that there were errors, omissions and other irregularities during the counting, tallying and tabulation of the results at the constituency.
Waibara who contested as an independent candidate and lost to Ms Kibe of Jubilee by 39,447 votes to 9,314 claimed that some of the votes were erroneously allocated to his opponent while ballot papers from various polling stations were found dumped in a number of trading centers a few days after the election.
In his two-hour judgment, Justice Ngugi struck out most the allegations by Waibara, including a claim that there was use of witchcraft to influence voters during the poll.
While exonerating Ms Kibe from any blame in the nullification, the judge said she was a victim of failure by IEBC officials to comply with electoral rules and regulations.
“I sympathize with her as she is being compelled to pay the price of democracy, not for any mistake on her part as she had only offered herself for election,” he added.
Justice Ngugi indicted the electoral agency for the way it conducted the Gatundu North election and ordered that seven officials be investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions for possible electoral offences.
They include the presiding and deputy presiding officers in Mutuma, Ndekei and Mungai primary schools as well as the constituency returning officer Patrick Muthee over their role in the disappearance or misplacement of election materials including ballot booklets, unmarked ballots, unsigned Form 36 As and unfilled Form 35 As.
At the same time, the court ordered that Waibara be investigated on how he came into possession of some of the electoral materials missing from the ballot boxes which he used as his evidence in the petition hearing.
“After scrutiny of 26 out of the 125 ballot boxes and Form 35As this court found that the election in Gatundu North was conducted so badly and did not comply with the constitution and electoral justice,” Justice Ngugi.