Kenya made history in August by being the first African nation to nullify an election. Today, the court read out its full verdict concerning the annulled election. The legendary Justice Maraga gave his opening remarks stating that only the central parts of the judgment that were initially agreed upon would be read. Initially, the six-judge bench consisting of Smokin Wanjala, Isaac Lenaola, Jackton Ojwang’, Njoki Ndung’u, Chief Justice David Maraga and Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu made a decision regarding the election, and only two—Njoki Ndung’u and Jackton Ojwang’—dissented, making it a victory for the opposition.
This week was, however, a tough one for Pro-Kenyatta supporters who camped outside of the court and peacefully demonstrated against this verdict. This, did not, however, deter the courts, as today they based their final verdict on three main issues:
- Whether the election was conducted within the confines of the court;
- Whether there were any irregularities during the election and how the irregularities affected the election’s integrity; and
- Consequential orders.
Justice Mwilu emphasized that after Kenyans lost confidence in the electoral bodies in 2007, the Kriegler Report recommended an electronic system. The IEBC still could not provide the infamous form 34As, instead arguing that only form 34Bs could determine a presidential win. The IEBC also failed to provide GPS locations of the KIEMs and certificates of penetration tests on the systems. The IEBC could not ascertain the results were electronically and systematically transmitted during the election, resulting in a violation of their mandate.
After random sampling was carried out, an entire 56 of 291 forms did not have watermarks while five lacked signatures, 2 were stamped but not signed, and 31 did not have serial numbers, all putting the accountability of the process into question. The new election date set by the court is October 17th, but the French company responsible for providing the technological instruments on Monday put forward grievances, stating that it may not be possible to be ready by 17th.
The emotional roller-coaster that Kenyans have been on, therefore, continues. The fight between the opposition and the government continues and Kenyans can only wait to decide one more time when the elections are carried out again in October. In the meantime, Kenyans remain calm, and the position of the country as a powerhouse in East Africa economically remains the same.