Court upholds election of Kinangop MP Zachary Kwenya

Zachary Kwenya

Kinangop MP Zachary Kwenya (centre) with his supporters celebrate outside Nyahururu law courts after the High Court dismissed an election petition challenging his victory.

Photo credit: Steve Njuguna | Nation Media GroupZachary Kwenya

What you need to know:

  • In the petition, Mr Chege had accused his competitor of voter bribery. 
  • During the hearing of the petition, Mr Chege alleged that Mr Kwenya won the election after using ‘bewitched’ money to bribe voters.

The High Court in Nyahururu has dismissed a petition challenging the election of Kinangop Member of Parliament Zachary Kwenya Thuku.

Mr Amos Chege, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate for the seat in the August 9, 2022, General Election had challenged Mr Thuku's victory. Mr Chege also suffered a blow after Justice James Wakiaga slapped him with a Sh2.5 million fine.

Sh500, 000 is to be paid to IEBC that was the first respondent while the rest will be paid to Kwenya, the 2nd respondent.

In the petition, Mr Chege had accused his competitor of voter bribery. 

He claimed that the election was marred with massive irregularities, voter bribery, swapping of results, voter suppression and voter manipulation that compromised its integrity.

The petitioner submitted that the flaws and irregularities that characterised the election unlawfully subverted the sovereign will of the electorate, hence calling on the court to nullify the results.

Bewitched money

During the hearing of the petition, Mr Chege alleged that Mr Kwenya won the election after using ‘bewitched’ money to bribe voters.

“Maybe the money was bewitched because my voters would later claim that they did not know how they changed their mind from voting for me,” the petitioner told the court, noting that he was the most popular candidate vying on a popular political party.

However, while dismissing the petition Justice Wakiaga on Friday said that the petitioner failed to prove and substantiate all his claims.

He ruled that there were a lot of contradictions in the petition and that claims of voter bribery were mere allegations that lacked specifics and were not backed by any tangible evidence. 

“The evidence presented before this court was unsubstantiated, weak and failed to meet the evidential threshold. This court, therefore, rejects the petition,” said Justice Wakiaga.

He said that the court had also found that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission conducted the polls in compliance with the Constitution.

“What the petitioner had pointed out has been satisfactorily explained before this court by IEBC. I, therefore, find and hold that Zachary Kwenya Thuku was validly elected in the election conducted on August 9, 2022, as Member of Parliament for Kinangop constituency," ruled the judge.

Jubilee Party ticket

Mr Kwenya was re-elected for a second term in office on a Jubilee Party ticket, having garnered 39,338 votes against the petitioner who got 34,842 votes.

The Kinangop MP and his Ol Kalou counterpart Njuguna Kiaraho were two lawmakers from the region who were re-elected on the Jubilee ticket.

Speaking after the ruling, the MP lauded the court for upholding his victory.

“I am thankful that the court has upheld my victory. Now I can comfortably work and deliver the pre-election pledges to my people of Kinangop,” said Mr Kwenya who was joined by hundreds of his supporters.

Mr Kwenya who was among Jubilee party MPs who recently met President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi, pledged to work closely with the government.

“We thank the President for adopting lawmakers from the Jubilee party. He has been a friend for a long time and we are going to work together with the government in Parliament for the interest of the people of Kinangop,” he added.


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