SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS WILLIAM RUTO AS KENYA’s DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT

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The Supreme Court Monday afternoon upheld the election of William Samoei Ruto as Kenya’s fifth president of the Republic of Kenya.

The Chief Justice Martha Koome-led Bench unanimously threw out a petition by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition candidate Raila Odinga, who argued the declaration of Dr Ruto was null and void.

The court ruled that Ruto was validly elected as the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya.

“Petitions one to seven are hereby dismissed. We declare that the election of William Ruto as President is valid, each party to bear its own costs,”

Martha Koome stated.

Koome said that the court found no evidence that the results had been tampered via hacking of the IEBC servers, as was alleged by Odinga’s camp.

In response to the split of the IEBC commissioners, Martha Kome said: “apart from their eleventh-hour denunciation of the verification process …the four commissioners have not shown any evidence that the election was compromised”.

Chief Justice Martha Koome also said that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Chairperson Wafula Chebukati were right in rounding off percentages.

“The president-elect attained 50%+1 of the total votes cast as evidenced by Forms,” she stated.

CJ Martha Koome

Response to issues

While delivering the abridged ruling, CJ Martha Koome explained the court’s position on each of the nine issues that the judges considered in the consolidated petition.

On the first issue of whether the technology deployed by IEBC for the conduct of August 9 poll met the standards of integrity, verifiability, security, and transparency to guarantee accurate and verifiable results, Koome said the court was satisfied. She added that the bench was not convinced by the allegations made by petitioners that the technology did not meet the required standards.

Koome also stated that IEBC sufficiently explained how the election technology (KIEMS) kits work and that in areas where technology failed they made sure that Kenyans voted using the manual register. “The scrutiny orders by the court did not show any security breaches,” Koome stated.

Interference?

On the second issue on whether there was interference in the uploading and transmission of polling station results from the polling stations to the IEBC public portal, Koome said that no credible evidence was presented.

No credible evidence that forms 34A was being downloaded and uploaded was adduced, and that no evidence of middle man or evidence that IEBC chairman was part of the alleged conspiracy,” Koome stated.

The seven-judge bench

Difference in for 34a

On whether  there was a difference between Forms 34A uploaded on the IEBC public portal, those received at the national tallying center, and forms 34As issued to the agents at the polling stations, Koome said a scrutiny conducted on the forms from 41 polling stations didn’t return any irregularities.

The dismissed John Githongo’s allegations that some 56 hackers in Karen changed presidential results.

The seven-member bench also dismissed lawyer Julie Soweto’s allegations that Jose Camargo interfered with the presidential elections terming her spirited submission in court as ‘hot air’.

There were no significant differences captured on physical original forma and uploaded forms at the IEBC portal which could have affected the credibility of the presidential election,” she stated.

On issue number four on whether the postponement of gubernatorial elections in Kakamega and Mombasa counties and parliamentary polls in Kitui Rural, Kachileba, Rongai, and Pokot South constituencies and electoral wards in Nyaki West in North Imenti constituency and Kwa Njenga in Embakasi South Constituency resulted in voter suppression to the detriment to the petitioners, Koome said that IEBC had a genuine reason to postpone elections in the said areas.

“It has not been shown that IEBC acted in bad faith in postponing the elections, we are satisfied that it was occasioned by a genuine mistake,” she said.

William Ruto and his wife Rachel

On the fifth issue on whether unexplained discrepancies between the votes cast for presidential candidates and other elective positions, the judges found that no evidence was produced by the petitioner to prove ballot stuffing.

IEBC provided explanation on the discrepancies of the votes, the number of stray votes was insignificant and therefore can’t result in a nullification,” Koome stated.

Verification

On whether  the IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results per the provisions of articles 138 (3)C and 138 (10) of the Constitution, the judges found that verification, tallying and announcements or election results was done as contemplated by the constitution.

The court also said it did not find credible evidence that IEBC Chairperson acted unilaterally.

The judges observed that all the commissioners took part in the process, as they were seen on live Television interchangeably announcing the presidential election results. 

They also ruled that the  four dissenting commissioners did not submit evidence that what Chebukati announced was different from what the results should have been.

“Are we to nullify an election on account of a last minute boardroom rupture? This we can not do,” Koome stated.

On the seventh issue, whether the President-Elect attained 50 percent plus one vote of the votes cast in accordance with article 138 (4) of the Constitution, the judges affirmed the threshold was attained.

On the eighth issue on whether there were irregularities and illegalities of such magnitude as to affect the final results of the presidential election, the court found that there were no irregularities and illegalities of such a scale as to affect the final result of the Presidential Election.

Congratulations to William Ruto.

By Wanjiru Mbaru

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