Dismiss poll petitions, Uhuru Kenyatta tells Supreme Court

13Nov 2017
The Guardian
Dismiss poll petitions, Uhuru Kenyatta tells Supreme Court

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday asked the Supreme Court to dismiss two election petitions challenging his win.

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta

In more than 10 affidavits filed in opposition to the petitions, President Kenyatta says the petitioners have made unsubstantiated claims.

 

He further says the petitioners are no more than surrogates, agents and mouthpieces of Nasa and its leaders.

"Accordingly, it is deceitful and misleading for the petitioners to masquerade as bona fide defenders of the public interest," he said in a statement.

The response states that apart from the frivolity and vexatious value, the entire petition is otherwise a patent opportunity of wasting judicial time and resources.

"The 3rd respondent states that the petition herein consists of a flip-flopped and distorted narrative, which fails to represent the true position in Kenya following the annulment of the

President Kenyatta accuses Nasa of deliberately setting out to make a brazenly unlawful attempt to ensure that no repeat election would be held as scheduled on October 26.

On the requirement for fresh nominations ahead of the repeat poll, President Kenyatta says the court did not invalidate the nominations undertaken on 28th and 29th May 2017 or any other component of the annulled presidential election.

"The court merely invalidated the declaration of the presidential election," the President says.

He adds that there is no constitutional or legal provision requiring that fresh nominations be conducted during a fresh election under Article 140(3) of the Constitution.

On the contrary, he says, there are constitutional, statutory and judicial pronouncements that leave no shadow of doubt that nominations are not required during a fresh presidential election.

Meanwhile,former assistant minister Harun Mwau has separately filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which raises grounds similar to those raised by rights activist and lawyer Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa of Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu civil society group.

In an affidavit filed in support of a petition challenging the presidential vote outcome, Mue and Khelef accuse Jubilee of using its numbers in Parliament to push for amendments of electoral laws, which “were designed to minimise and circumvent the full import and the reach of the Supreme Court’s decision of September 1”.

 They argue that the haste with which the said amendments were enacted and the disregard of critical voices including Odinga, civil society, faith-based groups, dissenting political actors and election observer missions catalysed heightened tension and voter polarisation in the period leading up to the repeat presidential election.

The two are represented by lawyer Julie Soweto while  Mwau is represented by Benjamin Musyoki.

Mue, together with Khalifa, in their 34-page affidavit, want the outcome of the poll nullified, arguing that the election was voided with the withdrawal of Odinga and Nasa from

He has also said the election was invalid because the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) included the name of Shakhalaga Khwa Jirongo before gazetting his name.

The decision to include Jirongo’s name was disclosed by Commissioner Abdi Guliye in an interview he conducted while on a trip to Dubai on October 18 and published in the print media on October 23.

Mr Guliye admitted that Jirongo had not been gazetted as a candidate as at October 25.

The same grounds have been raised in the petition filed by Mwau.

 The petitioners fault IEBC, saying it disregarded the withdrawal of Mr Odinga, yet he commands a unique and special constitutional construct and place of political parties in Kenya’s democracy.

“The 1st and 2nd Respondent’s action ignored the fact that the 4th Respondent was not only a coalition of a number of political parties representing a significant diversity of voters, but also a distinct entity from its candidates, thus entitled to separate audience,” he said.

Mue further said the commission was discriminatory because five presidential candidates had only two official days to campaign.

 

He has further cited the memo by former IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe, who resigned and fled to the USA, saying it reveals a myriad of inherent disorganisation and external interference at the commission.

The petition has also cited the appointment of returning officers and their deputies, which the High Court had found to have been done illegally.

The decision was, however, reversed by the Court of Appeal.

 Mue claims President Uhuru Kenyatta met some 10,000 women supporters at State House, Nairobi, and officially launched Jubilee Women Brigade.

According to him, Women Brigade were dressed in military and police uniforms, saluted and used designations and descriptions reserved for the military and the police.

In their affidavits, they also accuse the Jubilee administration of misusing state resources.

 In a cross-petition, Institute of Democratic Governance seeks to have opposition leaders led by Odinga held liable for violence and damages during the repeat presidential election.

The organisation, through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, accuses Nasa leaders of engaging in electoral malpractices during the repeat poll.

They accuse the Nasa leaders of violating the rights of the citizens and they want the court to find them unfit to hold public office.

So far, five election petitions are pending before the Supreme Court although two of them, one by activist Okiya Omtatah and another by Pokot South MP David Pkosing, had been filed earlier.