The High Court has upheld the decision of the electoral commission to move Tharaka Nithi county tallying centre from Kathwana Social Hall in Chuka sub-county to Chiakariga Girls High School in Tharaka sub-county.
Justice Lucy Gitari found that the facility at Kathwana is owned by the county government, hence it cannot be termed as a neutral venue, while the hall in Chiakariga is the property of the national government and was used in previous general elections.
The court also found that although the Elections (General) Regulations require county tallying centres to be situated at the county headquarters, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had merited concerns after some candidates raised questions about use of Kathwana Social Hall.
The facility is in Chuka Igamba/Ng’ombe constituency, the county headquarters, while Chiakariga is in Tharaka sub-county.
In addition, that the Kathwana Social Hall lacks sufficient parking space, is not fenced and is unsafe for the IEBC officers and its property, he said.
On the other hand, he said that Chiakariga Girls High School is fenced, secure, with ample parking space and not associated with any candidate.
While dismissing petition filed by a voter Micheal Kimathi to quash the relocation, the court further noted that time had run out and IEBC had already placed installations at Chiakariga Girls High School hall such as computers, printers, backup generator and a strong room for keeping election statutory forms.