The Supreme Court has outlined details of its ruling against two major petitions that were filed to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta’s October 26 victory.
The petitions were filed by former lawmaker and businessman John Harun Mwau and; Njonjo Mue, a human rights and judicial expert and Khelef Khalifa, director of Muslims for Human Rights. Mue and Khalifa submitted theirs jointly.
On November 20, the top court upheld President Kenyatta’s victory in the October 26 repeat presidential poll.
CJ David Maraga and his team unanimously threw out both petitions before the court on the basis of merit.
The judges then promised to give their reasons for dismissing the petitions filed in 21 days’ period.
On Monday December 11, the court gave a detailed response to its ruling regarding the concerns raised during the hearing of the petitions.
The main concerns were addressed as follows:
Was it necessary to conduct fresh nominations for the candidates?
The court said there was no need of conducting fresh nominations for the repeat October 26 election.
The apex court ruled that the nominations for the August 8 General Election remained valid for the October 26 presidential race.
“The law provides for withdrawal within three days of nominations. The said regulation is not applicable to the situation at hand. Nominations had long been conducted before the scheduled fresh election,” the court said.
Who was not supposed to be on the October 26 ballot?
The Supreme Court Justices said that all the presidential candidates who participated in August 8 were supposed to be included in the fresh presidential elections. This decision sanctifies UDP’s Cyrus Jirongo inclusion on the ballot.
“We therefore find no fault on the part of the commission to include Mr Jirongo in the repeat poll because they were guided by the court,” the court ruled in a statement read by Justice Isaac Lenaola.
The IEBC had first gazetted the names of seven presidential candidates to participate in October 26 election. The candidates included; Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, Mohamed Abduba Dida, Ekuru Aukot, Joseph Nyaga, Japhet Kaluyu and Michael Wanaina.
The commission said Cyrus Jirongo, a former Lugari MP was not eligible to participate in the fresh presidential election as he was declared bankrupt by the High court. The IEBC decision to include all the presidential candidates came after High Court Justice John Mativo delivered a verdict that all candidates who participated in the August 8 General Election were entitled to participate in the fresh Presidential Election. The United Democratic Party presidential candidate was handed a reprieve again after Justice Sewe of the High Court temporarily suspended the bankruptcy order placed against him paving way granting his inclusion in the repeat presidential poll a clean bill of health.
Did returning officers have authority to manage the fresh presidential elections?
The court found that Returning Officers and the Deputy Returning Officers legally discharged their duties.
“We now hold that the officers in question lawfully held their positions and duly discharged their constitutional mandate,” the court said.
Did President Uhuru Kenyatta intimidate Supreme Court judges after his first win was annulled?
Allegations that the Supreme Court judges were intimidated by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was a party in the election petition were also dismissed.
“While being alive to the fact that the 3rd respondent has on various occasions expressed his dissatisfaction with the (September 1) judgement delivered by this court, no judge of this court was intimidated by the choice of words by the 3rd respondent.”
Did we have cases of voter bribery?
The court also dismissed allegations that there was voter bribery on grounds that there was no proof to support such claims.
Why did the court permit the petitioners to challenge President Kenyatta’s win?
The court said the case was a public interest litigation.
In a decision read by Justice Isaac Lenaola, the judges ruled that the petitioners had the right to sue.
The apex court judges said any Kenyan is free to challenge a presidential poll.