Trans Nzoia: Ordinary citizens who petitioned governor’s election decry huge fines after losing suit
As the country gears towards the 2022 general elections, locals from Trans Nzoia County have complained of huge sums awarded to defendants of gubernatorial petitions saying that it may hinder justice.
Speaking to the press after being released from the Kitale main prison, one of the 2017 gubernatorial petitioners Alpha Chore says that parliament should enact laws barring huge fines of money being awarded to defendants of such cases making access to justice a huge hurdle.
Chore, who was in the company of other locals, says that a Ksh11 million fine he has been slapped with is so huge.
“I went to court to seek justice to the locals but ended up being put to prison after failing to pay the huge amount of money awarded to IEBC and governor Patrick khaemba,” he stated.
He has urged the national parliament to amend laws concerning the petitions and awarding fines according to the financial status of the petitioners.
“Look at me. A local hustler. Where can I get Ksh11 million? that judge must also be a joker in awarding such an amount,” he said.
The way the petitioner was arrested also raised queries after he was arrested and convicted in less than two hours.
“I was arrested nine days ago at 3 pm and by 4 pm I had been convicted and sent to prison.”
Other locals who had accompanied Chore said that the move will force locals not to question the future electoral processes, fearing for the huge sums that will be awarded at the end of the case.
“With this trend, we may fear to question any election outcomes as the consequences are high. Let the National Assembly come up with a law that cushions local petitioners who only seek justice to mwananchi,” Mark Barasa noted.
They have also cautioned judges and lawyers who impose such huge amounts of money on local petitioners.
The petition was raised by the duo at Kitale high court before judge Antony Charo claiming that agents of other gubernatorial candidates were chased away from some polling stations giving room for governor Patrick Khaemba’s agents to engage in voter bribery.
Justice Charo declared that reports from vote scrutiny and recount he had ordered failed to reveal substantial irregularities leading to him ordering the petitioners to pay ksh10 million as cost of the suit where KSh5 million will go to Khaemba while the County Returning Officer and IEBC will share the balance.