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 petitions Alpha Chore says that parliament should enact laws barring huge sums 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 the amount he was awarded being 11 million was so huge forcing him to be committed to the prison before being rescued by one of the politicians.
“I with my fellow Trans Nzoian Robinson Mwanga saw many flaws in the gubernatorial seat prompting us to go to the court to give justice to the locals but ended up being committed to prison after failing to pay the huge amount of money awarded to IEBC, governor Patrick khaemba and case cost.” Said Chore
He has urged the national parliament to amend laws concerning the petitions and awarding fines according to financial status of the petitioners. “Look at me, a local hustler, where can I get 11 million, that judge must also be a joker in awarding such an amount.” He added
The way the petitioner was arrested also raised queries after he was arrested and convicted in less than two hours raising eyebrows. “I was arrested nine days ago at 3pm and by 4 pm had been convicted and sent to prison,” he narrated
Other locals who had accompanied Chore said that the move will push locals not to question the future electoral process, 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 as the consequences are high with such awarding. Let the national assembly come up with a law that cushions local petitioners who only seek justice to the local man,” Noted Mark Barasa.
They have also cautioned judges and lawyers who impose such huge amounts of money to local petitioners whom they say are after justice whereas prominent politicians are given lenient fines or even let out without any fines.
“They should consider whom they are fining because if you fine such a person 11 million yet he has never accumulated one million in his account this is a way of creating fear among the locals in pursuing justice,’’ added Simon Andala, a local youth leader.
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 and governor Patrick Khaemba’s agents engaged 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 Sh10 million as cost of suit where Sh5 million will be for Governor Khaemba while the county returning officer and IEBC will share the balance.