Judiciary Identifies 88 Judicial Officers to Handle Election Petitions

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The Judiciary has lined up 88 judicial officials to handle election petitions across the country. The officials included 25 judges, 43, chief magistrates and registrars.

Elias Kisawuzi, the spokesman of the judiciary says that the officials will be equipped with the necessary training to handle and discharge election petitions within three months.

He says that the judicial officials will be facilitated with a compendium of electoral laws, legal authorities, computers, court recording equipment and transport to ease their work.

Kisawuzi says that training of the judicial officers will commence before the end of March.

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Paul Gadenya, the Senior Technical advisor to the Judiciary says that they about shillings 1 billion to complete the process and handle election petition cases. He says that each of election petition is estimated to cost shillings 10 million.

Gadenya says that government is currently negotiating with development partner on how to raise the money. The Justice and Law society has already set aside shillings 400 million to kick start the process.

They also hope that government will in its 2011/12 financial year budget set aside additional resources to handle election petitions.

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According to Gadenya in order to clear the petitions within 3 months; the case backlog reduction programme that has been running for the last ten months will be expanded throughout the country.

85,000 cases have so far been disposed off in the programme.

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Gadenya also reveals that whichever candidate will be found to have violated the electoral laws in the election petitions will be referred to the DPP for prosecution.

He says in the previous petitions many candidates violated electoral offences and were never prosecuted.

Gadenya says that once convicted such candidates will be disqualified from contesting that next election even if they lose the petition.