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Why Eldoret court upheld Alfred Keter’s win

Beatrice Jerono
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Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter at a past event. [Photo/nation.co.ke]

It was joy and dance in Eldoret town on Wednesday after the Court of Appeal set aside a ruling by a High Court that had nullified the election of Alfred Keter as Nandi Hills Member of Parliament.

Keter had filed an appeal after Justice Kanyi Kimondo declared his win on August 8, 2017 election, as null and void. 

While delivering his ruling, justice Kimondo said there was sufficient evidence that Keter conducted illegal campaigns that affected the outcome of whole results.

However, in the Appeals Court ruling delivered by Justice Erastus Githinji, the High Court decision was faulted noting that the judge erred when annulling the win based on the ‘hear-say evidence’ provided to the court by the petitioner, Bernard Kitur.

The court further pointed out that, even if it had been proved that Keter conducted illegal campaigns in the named areas as alleged, it could not have affected the final results.

In August 8 poll, Keter was declared the winner after garnering 23,923 votes while Kibor, his closest rival had 13, 872 votes.

Justice Githinji in his ruling also indicated that the High Court Judge while declaring Keter’s win null and void gave a broad meaning to the word campaign “that would expose candidates to criminal offences.”

“The petitioner did not sufficiently discharge his evidential burden of proof to an extent that it shifted to that of the respondent,” said justice Githinji in the ruling.

With the ruling, Keter can now focus on pursuing his political ambitions ahead of 2022 even as he also continue serving the electorate in Nandi Hills.

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