Ugenya MP Chris Karan loses seat in court petition as Siaya senator James Orengo’s name is mentioned

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BY CORRESPONDENT,SIAYA,1ST MARCH 2018-Ugenya member  of parliament Chris Karan has lost his seat after high court on Thursday ruled  that  he didn’t win fairly.

 

Mr Karan of ODM lost his seat  after his predecessor David Ochieng’ convinced the court that he could not campaign because his opponents had incited the crowds using propaganda.

But as Justice Tripsisa Cherere ruled that Mr Karan had profited from a “perverted” electioneering period, Siaya senator James Orengo’s name was thrown at the centre of the chaos.

The court was told that Orengo, had incited crowds, telling them that Mr Ochieng was an agent of the ruling Jubilee Party even though he was running on his party, the Movement for Democracy and Growth.

The court was further  told that Mr Orengo accused the then Ugenya MP of having a hand in the killing of IEBC’s technology chief Chris Msando.

Mr Msando was found murdered in Kiambu, a week  to the August 8, 2017 General Election.

 

“I find that the campaign was perverted and compromised the integrity of the election. Siaya [being] a Raila Odinga’s backyard, linking Mr Ochieng to Jubilee affected the final results. These results did not pass the test of transparent and verifiable test,” the judge told a packed courtroom on Thursday.

Mr Ochieng had run on the Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) ticket after he defected from ODM.

But in the run up to the elections, Mr Msando was mysteriously murdered and his body found dumped alongside that of a female friend.

Facing hostility and unable to traverse the county in vote hunt, Mr Ochieng eventually lost the race.

He would lose the vote, but went to the High Court, not to dispute the figures announced, but to challenge the process of the vote.

The difference in the votes between the two was only 357 votes.

Mr Karan won the seat after garnering 23,775 votes against Mr Ochieng’s 23,418 votes.

This court decision mimics that of the Supreme Court which nullified the August Presidential election after finding the electoral process could not be verified.

Mr Ochieng alleged that the smear campaign claiming that he was involved in Msando’s death and being linked to the Jubilee Party in an opposition stronghold  made it difficult  for him to campaign since it whipped up emotions among the people.

Mr Msando hailed from Ugenya and his death upset many residents of Siaya, the home county of Nasa leader Raila Odinga.

“I was traumatised during the whole period, my family was at risk because of the allegations,” said Mr Ochieng.

He claimed in Court that Mr Orengo led the mudsling campaign against him.

Mr Ochieng has promised the ODM party a tough battle for the Ugenya parliamentary seat.However on his part , Mr Karan says he will be appealing the High Court’s decision to quash his election.

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