September 1, 2017 is a day that will live in infamy in Kenya and Africa at large. For the first time ever in Africa the reelection of a sitting president was nullified by the Supreme Court, it is a major upset and a first in Africa, only four other nations on earth have undergone presidential election annulments, Ukraine, Maldives and Austria. So it is clearly understandable that the Supreme Court’s decision would rattle the nation, cause anxiety and frustrate President Uhuru Kenyatta, his running mate William Ruto and their supporters.
As historic as this decision is, it is imperative that all parties do not upset the common fabric that holds Kenya as a unitary state. Truth be told, the Supreme Court’s decision may have in fact saved the country from splitting up, so voters and Kenya as a whole won. That said, the onus is on the two protagonists, Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to respond appropriately and in a measured tone to avoid provoking anarchy. Unfortunately it appears that President Kenyatta, the one who actually holds the most responsibility in ensuring stability missed the memo, instead he, his deputy William Ruto and surrogates such as the notorious blabbermouth Adan Duale have gone on a rampage threatening the Supreme Court Justices who rendered the decision, particularly Chief Justice David Maraga. In a country where extra-judicial killings and assassinations directly linked to the state are common threats of retaliation to the justices cannot go unnoticed or un-responded to, I take these threats seriously as should all Kenyans, they are not something to gamble with or leave to chance. These threats, from the president, deputy president William Ruto and their surrogates must stop, IMMEDIATELY!
KENYATTA’S THREATS TO THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES WILL BE HIS UNDOING
Speaking to supporters in broad daylight in several meetings and in front of Cameras, Kenyatta, visibly angry and panicked, declared the justices as “cheats” who colluded with Raila Odinga to overturn the will of 15 Million Kenyans! Clearly this is the kind of buffoonery and coonery that taints the presidency, it is juvenile. He further threatened to “FIX” the justices once he is reelected in 60 days, a president whose reelection has been annulled publicly threatening to retaliate against the courts if he gets reelected, really? How petulant, vindictive and asinine can it get? That’s not a winning formula, it only reinforces the narrative that he’s UNFIT for that office, it eroded confidence in Kenyatta and Ruto. But if we must face the truth it is Kenyatta and IEBC that were accused of scamming voters by colluding with the IEBC to alter the ballot counts, they got caught and instead of facing the reality, they are lashing out, come on now – let’s be fair. Not to be outdone, William Ruto was even bolder, he told the justices in simple terms that “theirs is coming” – this coming from someone accused and implicated directly of multiple murders in Kenya ranging from strangling a man to death with bear hands, the PEV in 2007/2008, killing/disappearance of witnesses, Jacob Juma and so many other atrocities has to give everyone a reason to pause and question the suitability of these two to even be in office. If any ordinary citizen made the kind of threats the President and his deputy made in Kenya, they would be jailed, no questions asked. Adan Duale dared Raila Odinga to dismantle the IEBC “if he is a man”; all of these men in senior-most positions of authority in the executive branch in the country have engaged in incendiary and inciteful conduct that threatens violence against members of a co-equal branch of government and other Kenyans, how and why do they get away with it?
FACT: President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are International Criminal Court (ICC) alumni, indicted for crimes against humanity for the thousands of killings and displacement in the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence – that’s a permanent tag on their heads and so watching them repeatedly and publicly threaten Judges and opponents befuddles me, not the smartest thing to do. If they keep down this this perilous path they have embarked, don’t be surprised to see interest from the international bodies including the ICC itself.
IEBC & KENYATTA LOST THE CASE ON MERIT
Kenyatta should not scapegoat the Supreme Court for his loss, the Court simply applied the principle of “finis coronat upus” – which means that the product is as good as the process that produced it. If you bake a cake with rotten eggs, the cake will be a bad cake, no different here. So I would say to President Kenyatta, chill out, it is not the end of the world. You submitted to the jurisdiction of the supreme court (he had no choice), he sent ZOMBIES as attorneys to represent him and the world witnessed how shoddy they were, court verdicts are usually win/lose proposition, 50/50 ratio, what did Kenyatta and Ruto expect? Prior to the ruling both men mocked Odinga and told him to be prepared to accept results, Odinga gladly accepted results, why shouldn’t they? Truth is President Kenyatta is a sore loser but more importantly he is barking at the wrong tree. Even as he licks his wounds and sulks while directing his wrath at the Supreme Court for his loss, any objective observer of the court proceedings would conclude that the accused scammers, Kenyatta and IEBC, didn’t put up any real or meaningful defense. They just didn’t. If you told me that it was a rehearsal for “Amateur night at the Apollo” I would have believed you, that’s how dreadful those defense lawyers were as they struggled to pull a fast one on the court, their performance speaks for itself and it was pitiful to watch, I mean really bad. Perhaps they were overconfident or just didn’t think the court would have the courage to rule against Kenyatta no matter what; be that as it were they performed poorly and maybe Kenyatta should demand a FULL REFUND. They acted like ZOMBIES in lawyers’ frocks, it was a bizarre spectacle. So if Kenyatta feels the need to lash out and take his frustrations out on anyone it should be his lawyers, not the Supreme Court. They couldn’t even distinguish between “REJECTED” and “STRAY” ballots, I mean simple questions. IEBC told the Court the results it projected on its screens and to the world were NOT results but statistics! Come on now…On the other hand the petitioner put up a strong and compelling case, it was clearly convincing. The Justices had no option but to render the judgment they did, perfectly JUSTIFIED.
GOING FORWARD WITH THE REDO – COURT OVERSEER TO SUPERVISE THE NEW ELECTION
The IEBC has announced October, 17 as the new Election Day. Clearly the past election was badly executed, and I believe this wasn’t just isolated to the presidential elections, it is all part of Ruto’s master succession plan for 2022 and the people shouldn’t suffer to serve anyone’s interests. I hope NASA and Independent candidates file petitions against their opponents, they have a very good shot of getting most if not all of the results overturned given the Supreme Court ruling. IEBC is thoroughly disgraced and yet they still must conduct the repeat election, Raila Odinga’s insistence that IEBC must be disbanded first is a non-starter, it is impractical to do and so he’s on a fool’s errand on that one given the timeline and the complexity of reconstituting the commission, believe me I want them gone, not just gone but surcharged for the cost of the bungled election, prosecuted and thrown in jail – as both punishment and deterrent for scamming voters but that’s not a priority at this point. Kenyatta and Ruto have insisted that IEBC must stay in place, why not, it is a no-brainer, they are co-conspirators in this scam, they even managed to fool the so called “observers” into believing the vote was clean, what a shame! I think those observers should stay home this time around unless they are can observe the ENTIRE process honestly.
In the immediate aftermath, my hope and expectation is that the Supreme Court, which has absolute jurisdiction and discretion in this issue at this point will appoint a SPECIAL MASTER to ensure its orders are properly followed, i.e. to monitor and ensure that IEBC truly follows the law and rules to the letter as it is supposed to otherwise we’ll be back where we are in 6 weeks, let’s not make this an exercise in futility.
Electoral Process Map – The court should order IEBC spell out a specific “Electoral Process Map” with specific “CHECKLIST” that clearly outlines how it will conduct the next elections differently. We must close all scamming avenues. The Court should approve that process and charge the overseer with the responsibility of ensuring the IEBC follows it.
All Manual Process, No More Electronic Transmission of results – The election should be manual all way round. No more server shenanigans, voting is manual, counting is manual, declare results at polling stations, PERIOD.
More to follow…..