Why Senior ODM official is staring at a jail term

Or millions in fine

Judith Pareno
Ms. Judith Pareno, the head of ODM elections board. PHOTO: NMG

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) National Election Board Chairperson Judith Pareno has been found guilty of failing to properly count votes during the highly-contested Muhoroni parliamentary seat nomination which could have seen a loser in the race clinch victory.

The ruling comes after Ayiecho Olweny went to High Court to dispute Muhoroni Member of Parliament James K’Oyoo’s win in the party primaries in April.

Ayiecho Olweny
Former Education assistant minister Prof. Ayiecho Olweny. PHOTO: TWITTER

Lady Justice Jessie Lessit ruled in Olweny’s favour, saying the party failed to tabulate the results for five wards in Muhoroni as they had been ordered to do on June 2.

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“Pareno and the party’s failure to comply forced the court to tally the results of the primaries from all the 87 polling stations. The court established that Olweny won the primaries, garnering 23,578 votes to K’Oyoo’s 13,700 votes,” Judge Lessit ruled as quoted in the Daily Nation on Thursday, June 15.

The lady Justice went ahead and revoked K’Oyoo’s nomination certificate presented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), directing ODM to issue Olweny with a certificate and forward his name to the electoral body as the valid candidate.

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“Should ODM decline to give him a certificate, then this judgment will be supplied to the IEBC to serve as his nomination and gazettement as the candidate for the Muhoroni parliamentary seat,” added Lessit.

James Koyoo
Muhoroni Member of Parliament James K’Oyoo. HOTO: THE STAR

In the same ruling, the Judge put Pareno on the defensive, asking her to show why she should not be punished for contempt of court.

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“I complied with the order of this court by tallying the results which have been relied upon by this court but in case I did not fully implement it, I urge the court to indulge me and give me the chance to comply fully,” said Pareno in her defence.

But Olweny and his lawyer asked the court to either jail Pareno for six months or fine her KSh 5 million for defying the court orders.

The sentence will be read on Monday, June 19.