Court dismisses Emaase’s application for recount and scrutiny of votes

Former Teso South MP Mary Emaase
Former Teso South MP Mary Emaase

Former Teso South Member of Parliament Mary Emaase suffered a setback when her application to order for a recount and scrutiny of votes was dismissed with costs.

Busia High Court trial Judge Kiarie Waweru Kiarie said the applicant did not give sufficient reasons to warrant the recount and scrutiny of votes. “The application must fail and the cost be with the petitioner. The petitioner lacked merit in ordering for a recount and scrutiny of votes and only wanted to expand the scope of the petition. For such an application to succeed a basis for the same must be laid out,” he said.

Kiarie said no request for a recount was made during the elections or the pre-trial conference. “If it was turned down during the elections then the petitioner would have included it in her petition. The petitioner had alleged massive irregularities in some polling stations including Kamunuoit, Machakusi, Akobwait, Koteko, Okateko, Okame, Apokor Secondary, Apokor Youth Polytechnic and Kamarinyang.

The petitioner cited in the application Kamunuoit primary school where 100 more votes were credited to the third respondent (Current Teso MP Geoffrey Omuse). Although this was admitted as an error it had since ceased to be an issue.

The petitioner had also cited Machakusi primary school polling station where some anomalies were detected. The error was acknowledged, but it is an exercise in futility to order for a recount,” he said.

The 15 minute judgment was witnessed by Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong who had testified on December 13, 2017 to respond to claims by the petitioner of his hand in “handing Omuse the win”.

The Governor while being cross-examined by Emaase lawyer David Otieno denied claims by the former MP in her affidavit that he used his influence to have Omuse declared the winner by ‘manipulating’ results at Amukura tallying Centre on August 9.

With Emaase application thrown out, the ball is now in the court of Emaase, Omuse and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) lawyers to give their final before the Judge fixes a date when he will deliver the final Judgment.