Election Petitions In The Counties Set To Affect Economic Delivery


Developments in the counties are set to be adversely affected given the numerous number of petitions that have been filed in the court challenging the election of various officials. The election of 72 percent of governors has been challenged in court with 26 percent of woman representative positions also being contested. A total of 288 petitions have been filed across the country with Kisii, Kakamega, Nairobi, and Kilifi registering the highest number of petitions at 24, 23, 21, and 19 respectively with the four accounting for 87 percent of all the petitions countrywide.

Nairobi by Night. Image from http://www.osteriadelchianti.com/nairobi/

The country is already at an economic uncertainty following the nullification of the presidential results by the Supreme Court of Kenya and the number of petitions in other elective posts is set to make matters worse. The numerous petitions are likely to greatly affect service delivery all the way from the Member of County Assembly to the governor.

There is going to be a general delay for affected leaders to deliver on the promises they made during the campaigns. One of the most significant effects of these petitions is the uncertainty that those who are said to have won are left in. With the cases going on in court, there is no clear telling of what might be in store for them after the ruling. This makes it difficult for them to put down development plans and implement their delivery strategy for the fear of their positions being nullified. Given that some cases might take a lot of time, the effects might be irreversible. Key sectors in the hands of the counties like the health and the ECD sectors are likely to be hard hit in the counties where governors have been taken to court.

Investors are likely to adopt the wait-and-see mentality before investing. This is where investors and businesses put on hold any major investment plans because of the uncertainty of things changing in the near future. Although the wait-and-see approach has more risks on the business than carrying out the investment plan, many businesses are fond of using this approach. This will adversely affect the counties where their governors have cases challenging their election in court. Investors will be left guessing whether to work with them or wait for the verdict of the court. Businesses are likely to suffer for lack of clear policies from the affected counties.

The misuse of county resources for personal gain is likely to be on the increase in the affected counties. Governors, for instance, are likely to use public resources to foot their legal fees in court. This can, however, be avoided if the county assemblies play their role as a watchdog and ensure that public resources are not used for personal gain.

The Judiciary has a lot to do to make sure that the hundreds of petitions before it are heard and determined within the shortest time possible. This will help those in power know whether they have the go-ahead to rule and implement their policies or prepare for a by-election.


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