Kitui County returning officer today testified that wiper agents were no ejected from polling stations as alleged by former Kitui Governor Julius Malombe in his petition.
Gogo Albert Nguma, told justice Pauline Nyamweya that he received a complaint from Malombe’s chief agent that some of their agents had been locked out of their stations.
“Upon receiving the complaint, I called the constituencies returning officers, told them about the complaint and instructed they investigate,” added Nguma.
He said that in their response, the officers informed him that the allegations were false since there were agents for that party present at polling stations.
“I was therefore satisfied that Wiper party was represented, he added.
In his opinion, Kitui County gubernatorial election was conducted in accordance with the law.
Nguma said that his presiding officers and their duties did undertake a four day training on matters concerning elections and election laws before the election was held on August 8th last year.
During his examination by lawyer Kioko Kilukumi for Kitui governor Charity Ngilu, Nguma said that the presiding officers were instructed to stop the voting exercise if there was any sort of intimidation at the polling stations.
“The officers were instructed that if there was intimidation in a poling station, voting should be stopped after resuming, extra hours would be added for affected stations,” Nguma said.
The returning officer however told the court that he was never informed about any such incidence during the voting as alleged by former Kitui Governor Julius Malombe in the petition.
Nguma who is also the elections manager for Kitui county further told the court that no presiding officer nor their agents told him that they needed more time.
Errors due to fatigue
The court was told that the agents were not taking break between the process since the law does not allow breaks.
The exercise is a continuous process, it is therefore possible that they were fatigued an in the process errors could have occurred.
The officer also told the court that the law does not provide that the presiding officer and his deputy must sign the form 37A.
He confirmed that failure to sign the form 37A can not invalid the election.
In the petition, Malombe wants Ngilu’s election nullified on grounds that the election was marred by massive irregularities.
He accuses Ngilu of intimidating and bribing voter during the election.
The petitioner further argues that some of the forms were not signed and stamped by IEBC officials hence their results can not be relied on.
The hearing continues tomorrow