Victory for Martha Karua as court rules that her petition challenging Ann Waiguru’s election will be heard afresh

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,2ND MARCH 2018-The Court of Appeal on Friday   ordered the High Court to hear afresh the petition filed by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua challenging the election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

Judges Mohamed Warsame, Daniel Musinga and Otieno Odek set aside the striking out Ms Karua’s petition and ordered a fresh hearing by another judge.

The judges faulted Lady Justice Lucy Gitari of Kerugoya High Court for dismissing the case despite the petition raising weighty issues.

The judgment   also found Justice Gitari failed to appreciate the role of courts in considering disputes irrespective of whether issues raised were insignificant or not.

According to the judges ,Ms Karua raised serious allegations that required the judge to investigate and determine instead of prematurely striking out the petition.

Ms Karua’s case was thrown out despite conclusion of pre-trial and fixing of a hearing date.

“We are satisfied that the learned judge did not exercise her discretion properly. It is incumbent upon the court to address the substantive raised by the appellant,”  the judges said.

The judges also agreed with Karua that Justice Gitari unfairly dismissed her petition on technicality grounds that she omitted the election results and dates declared in her petition.

They observed that striking out the petition on such ground without examining other fundamental aspects of the case was tantamount to miscarriage of justice.

The court also set aside Sh10 million that the court slapped on Ms Karua saying it was excessive and form of punishment to deter Kenyans from accessing court justice.Instead Ms Karua was awarded Sh2 million as cost of appeal.

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