Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Supreme court has spoken

Uhuru Kenyatta is the president of Kenya.

I hope he can deliver for the next five years.

Will history repeat itself with another Kenyatta presidency?

Time will tell.

Related article: Raila Odinga to continue the struggle peacefully

May Justice be our shield and defender.


Related article Kenya's quiet court ruling where was Willy

Monday, 25 March 2013

Supreme court orders recount in some areas

Kenya's Supreme Court on Monday ordered a recount of votes in some constituencies in the country's March 4 presidential election.

Related article:Trust in Kenya's top judge is tested by election challenge.

Whatever Mutunga rules, upholding Uhuru Kenyatta's victory or deciding in Odinga's favor, he will face a tough job convincing the losers that his court has not again played politics. He has already faced some sniping from critics who suggest he is too close to Odinga and question his ability to be impartial.
But Mutunga's background as a lawyer who was detained in the 1980s for challenging the autocratic government at that time means he may stand a better chance than predecessors in ensuring his final ruling, due by March 30, wins popular acceptance.
"People have never had as much faith in the chief justice as they do in Willy Mutunga," said John Githongo, a former anti-corruption official turned whistleblower. "Before now there has never been this level of confidence in the judiciary."

Maina Kiai, who co-founded the Kenya Human Rights Commission with Mutunga during those years abroad, told Reuters the chief justice, who he said had grown up poor in an unequal society, stood by the same values that spurred his early activism.
"He has been a resolute defender of human rights and democracy, he's for social justice and his focus is very much on lifting the country so everyone has an equal opportunity," said Kiai, who has also challenged Kenyatta's win in a separate suit by civil society group Africa Centre for Open Governance.

Two weeks before the vote, Mutunga said had received threats from the Mungiki criminal gang. The group wanted to prevent any obstacles to a presidential bid by Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.
"Let no individual, group, candidate or supporter imagine that cowardly and dark acts such as these will cower us," Mutunga told a news conference.

He has a rock-steady history for which he has paid a very high personal price," said former anti-graft czar Githongo. "That gives him a level of credibility and legitimacy going into this that is not shared by anyone else

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The courts will decide

Riot police opened fire on Saturday, as Raila Odinga presented his papers to the court.

Hundreds of Odinga supporters in white shirts bearing the slogan Democracy on Trial gathered by the court in Nairobi to support the petition. The situation grew tense as Kenyan security forces turned up on horseback and in riot gear. Just before 10.30am, they fired teargas at the protesters and shot bullets into the air. The Observer saw one demonstrator and a bystander bloodied by security forces armed with batons and rifles.
Josiah Augo, 25, a student at Kenyatta University who joined the demonstration, said: "We were here peacefully and the police come with teargas. People started running, then one officer shot a student."
Odinga's running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka, appealed for calm. "I want to call on the police to exercise restraint," he said. Kenya's police inspector general said through a spokesman that further public political demonstrations and prayer gatherings would be banned. After Odinga's lawyers filed their petition, demonstrators returned to the streets, taunting security officers with blood-stained T-shirts. Odinga lawyer Dalmas Otieno addressed the crowd. "We have got enough information to show that our victory was stolen," he shouted to cheers.
Some questions and answers on why they are fighting the announced results

james Brownsell: Why are you bringing this case to the Supreme Court? What are the merits of the case?
Rahema Abdul-Rahman: We want to end the culture of election rigging in Kenya and restore confidence in our democratic processes. Our case is well merited. We have evidence of the violation of statutory provisions relating to the conduct of elections, as well as falsified figures and outright ballot box stuffing.
We will, through our petition, test the pedigree of our judicial institutions in restoring electoral integrity in Kenya.
JB: Why not just accept defeat?
RA-R: Accepting defeat in the face of massive electoral irregularities is tantamount to legitimising impunity. We are taking this action on behalf of Kenya. We have an opportunity to clean up our electoral system and we will not let it pass - lest history condemns us harshly.
The people of Kenya deserve to be led by legitimate, elected leaders. We must put to an end the culture of letting those who tally our votes determine the outcome.
Elections should only be determined by Kenyans through a fair process.
JB: What actual, physical evidence do you have of rigging or tally tampering?
RA-R: We have massive evidence of electoral irregularities that render the entire presidential election a fraud.
We will be moving to court shortly, where we will lay bare the evidence for the world to see.
At this moment I don't wish to delve into the contents of our evidence, lest it prejudices our case.
Follow our in-depth spotlight coverage of the vote
JB: Do you worry that contesting the result in court will negatively affect the unity of the Kenyan people?
RA-R: There is no threat whatsoever to national unity. If anything, Kenyans are hurting from the inside. Long term peace and unity will be founded on justice and equity - where every Kenyan is satisfied with the outcome of the election.
And most importantly, we have fidelity to the rule of law, and that is why we are going to court to contest the results of the election.
JB: What next? If the court upholds the IEBC declaration, will ODM/CORD accept their ruling?
RA-R: We have made a commitment to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court - and we are challenging Uhuru [Kenyatta] and his team to make a similar commitment.
JB: If the court rules in your favour, will there be a head-to-head run-off?
RA-R: If the Supreme Court rules in our favour, then we will have a repeat of the presidential election within 60 days - and only the eight candidates who participated in the March 4 election will be eligible to contest.
[However,] we have only anticipated this being a contest between our candidate and Uhuru Kenyatta... In my view, I do not expect the other candidates to compete.
JB: What makes you think you have a better chance of winning in a straight run-off against Kenyatta?
RA-R: We have no doubt in our mind that we enjoy massive support from all Kenyans, and if the election is conducted in a free and fair manner and in accordance with the law, we will emerge victorious.
JB: What’s next for the ODM if Raila retires?
RA-R: ODM is bigger than any individual, it is a mass movement of all Kenyans, and we surely have no shortage of leaders in our party ranks. We will have plenty to pick from and I am sure Raila will still have a great role to play in shepherding the party.
Our court petition is not about Raila as a person. It is about Kenya, it is about building and strengthening our democractic institutions.
In pursuit of a better, reformed Kenya, we will not relent.

The Coalition for Reform and Democracy, known as CORD, Mr Odinga’s electoral alliance and a handful of civil-society activists have complained that the election commission’s sums seem off. Monitors found that, whereas 12.3m votes were cast for president, only 10.6m were recorded for the 47 governors—though ballots in both races were cast at the same time.
Activists also point out that election officials evicted observers from the tallying centre a day into the count. The commission said party agents were getting in the way of the count. Yet independent poll monitors, including representatives for the Carter Center, an American institute that monitors human rights, were chucked out, too. Maina Kiai, a former head of Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission, criticised what he called a “peace at all cost” agenda, which may have drawn attention away from vote-tampering. “The IEBC failed so remarkably it cannot be a cock-up,” he asserted.
In any event, many Kenyans trust that the supreme court will rule fairly on the matter. The chief justice, Willy Mutunga, is viewed as his own man. Along with a panel of five other judges he will decide whether Kenyans need to vote again.

The chief justice has said the proceedings will be held live. Just hope there are no power cuts, but in Kenya you can't be sure.

In the meantime, a Kenyatta is back in charge.

Uhuru Kenyatta must convince Kenyans he is his own man, as he is seen as a chip off the Kikuyu block by some.

A NOVELTY of Kenya’s first televised presidential debate was the sight of awkward questions being put to Uhuru Kenyatta. How would he run the country from the dock at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he faces a charge of crimes against humanity perpetrated during the previous election? And just how much land did he own? In the calm transatlantic tones acquired at Amherst, a private college in America, he said he would use video-conferencing if necessary and that he was not quite sure of the extent of his acres. Despite such vague replies, most opinion polls said that his performance in the debate gave him a modest lift.

He had run for president before, but only after being handpicked as successor to Kenya’s strongman, Daniel arap Moi, in a multiparty election in 2002. He lost that race to his godfather, Mwai Kibaki, now the outgoing president.
He then served under Mr Kibaki in various posts, including as finance minister, earning a reputation for headline-grabbing initiatives that often failed. He ordered Kenya’s legion of government ministers to surrender their Mercedes cars for more modest brands. But after a handful of auctions most senior officials climbed back into their limos

Monday, 11 March 2013

Says it all

The past week has been spent waiting to see what the outcome of the elections would be. The technological failures did not surprise me at all. However, it is at that point that I started to think something was up, when I heard news of  the  possibility of systems being hacked. While some were saying there were no problems.

I never  thought that I would see the day when our president would be a defendant . 

Talking to a friend yesterday, comparing notes on what we think really happened. He came up with a joke which some of you may have already heard.

There are three guys, a Pakistani, Brazilian and Kenyan. The Pakistani guy says that when Pakistanis vote they get their results the next day. The Brazilian guy says when Brazilians vote, they get their results in two days. The Kenyan guy says when Kenyans vote, even though we wait a week, we always know what the results will be, before they are announced..

So Cord are going to court. I don't think anything will come out of it, frankly.

The ICC have dropped the case against Muthaura, what is next.

In the meantime, Binyavanga feels that Kenyans elected a president  we felt could bring peace.

I wonder what the IDP's feel, who still don't have homes, or  whether they voted.