Former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma suffered a blow after a court dismissed his application for a vote recount. High Court Judge David Majanja, in a five-minute ruling on Thursday, termed the application broad, vague and lacking specific terms.
The judge pointed out that Ranguma’s petition challenging the election of Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o was premised on the inconsistencies of the results recorded in the physical forms 37A, against those transmitted in the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management Systems (KIEMS), on which he had already granted orders for scrutiny.
No clear basis However, the same judge who ordered for the scrutiny of the electronic voter transmission system three weeks ago, yesterday disagreed with Ranguma on the re-opening of all the ballot boxes to have the votes recounted, arguing that no clear basis was laid for the application to warrant an order for the same. “I have considered the submissions and the law, and I find that the petitioner’s application for scrutiny suffers a congenital birth defect, as the petition affidavit does not specify which polling stations require further scrutiny,” said Majanja, maintaining the law and precedents provided for specificity in application for scrutiny of ballot boxes.
He added: “The necessity to identify polling station is emphasised, in previous similar judgements, that application for scrutiny and recount must be carved in specific terms and clothed with particularity as to which polling stations within a constituency are to attract such scrutiny, otherwise a blanket scrutiny cannot be entertained.” Ranguma, who wants election of Nyong’o overturned, had in the application sought to have scrutiny of all the 1,027 ballot boxes used in the election, arguing that his agents reported widespread malpractices across the county.
He also claimed the inconsistencies witnessed in the physical result declaration forms and those transmitted through the KIEMS exposed irregularities could have cost him his win. Through his lawyer Richard Onsongo, Ranguma had claimed the adulteration of samples of the statutory forms, backed by corroborating testimonies of the petitioner’s witnesses was a clear ground to order for total scrutiny of ballots.