Victory for petitioners as Supreme court allows access to voters register,forms

Victory for petitioners as Supreme court allows access to voters register,forms

BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,15TH NOV 2017-It is a big win for the petitioners in a petition challenging  re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta  after the supreme court on Wednesday November 15 allowed them access to the  register of voters used in the repeat poll as well as forms on which the results of the October 26 election were entered.

However  the judges declined to grant them access to the technological side – the gadgets used to identify voters and transmit the results, logs from those devices, the memory cards, servers on which the information was stored and details of the transmission of results.

Chief Justice David Maraga has ordered lawyers for petitioners, Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa to report back their findings by 3pm tomorrow.

The judges’ ruling on the application was read by Justice Smokin Wanjala, who said their decision was guided by the documents submitted on the matter, the arguments in the court and the decision in a similar case in August.

“The (IEBC) is hereby ordered to grant access to all original Forms 34A, Forms 34B, Form 34C. The (IEBC) is also to avail a certified copy of the voters’ register at the costs of the petitioner. The remaining prayers are hereby declined,” he said.

On his part Justice Wanjala said the detailed reasoning for the refusal would be given in the full  ruling but said some of the reasons were that it would be impossible to fulfil them in the short time available, the request was not particular and that some “were couched in such general terms as to amount to fishing expeditions.”

Justice Maraga ordered the IEBC’s lawyer, Waweru Gatonye, to ensure his clients give the petitioners’ team, headed by Harun Ndubi, access to the forms and the register, which were reported to be in their warehouses.

He said the petitioners and President Kenyatta should have seven people each to do the job and the IEBC as many people as they need to assist them do their job.

“Please arrange for somebody to open where they are, send your representatives. If he wants to make a copy, let them do that,” said Justice Maraga.

He also noted that the IEBC had said in its submissions that it would cost millions to make a copy of the register with more than 19 million people registered.

Fred Ngatia, President Kenyatta’s lawyers, said they would want to be present and to have a recording of what happens at the IEBC warehouse done.

 

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