Kenya election 2022: Supreme Court reaffirms William Ruto's victory against Raila Odinga.

Kata Kata

Admin | Posted On : 05-09-2022

In what amounts to a colossal setback for Raila Odinga, Kenya's Supreme Court has ruled in favour of William Ruto as duly elected president. That verdict effectively dismissed many cases demanding the annulation of the 9 August presidential election result. 

Following the disputed election, Raila Odinga and other opposition candidates filed petitions to the Supreme Court, requesting it to nullify the result based on alleged massive fraud, including tampering with results forms.  

Eight petitions challenged the closely fought elections in which Mr Ruto was declared the winner by 50.5% of the vote. The Supreme Court ruled that Mr Ruto had won the 50%+1 votes cast, as required by the country's constitution. 

The Apex Court, in its ruling, unanimously dismissed the petitions due to lack of evidence. Reading the verdict, Chief Justice Martha Koome, who intimated that the verdict was the decision of the seven judges of the court, alleged that some of the pieces of evidence presented by the opposition were forged documents and "sensational information." The court equally challenged the petitioners to present credible evidence of the alleged tampered electronic voting transmission system, which was contained in the submission of the opposition.

Although four of the seven electoral commissioners had disowned the poll results because they had fallen out with the chairman, an argument Mr Odinga's team had used to substantiate its submission; the Supreme Court dismissed the suggestion. Although the court criticised the "dysfunction" of the commission in managing its internal affairs, it, however, maintained the court did not buy Odinga's team's argument that the perception that the chairman was running a one-person show was enough to nullify the election. 

The Supreme Court's judgement was welcomed in Mr Ruto's base in the Rift Valley and parts of the central region where he comes from with celebrations. Contrarily, the streets are deserted, and some businesses closed in Kisumu, Mr Odinga's stronghold.

Based on the Supreme Court's verdict, the 55-year-old William Ruto will be sworn in as Kenya's fifth president next week. 

Reacting to the ruling, Mr Odinga responded on Twitter:

"We have always stood for the rule of law and the constitution. In this regard, we respect the opinion of the court although we vehemently disagree with their decision today." 

Several world leaders had congratulated William Ruto on his victory, including Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, who intimated that he was looking forward to working with the newly elected president.

In a carefully worded speech, President-elect William Ruto encouraged all Kenyans to eschew and shun violence as witnessed during previous elections, which claimed many lives. He extended a hand of friendship to his political opponents and emphasised that his government would accommodate all Kenyans irrespective of their political leanings, "social status, religion, ethnicity and gender".

 "We are not enemies, we are Kenyans. Let us unite to make Kenya a nation of which everyone shall be proud to call home." The newly-elected president requested. 

 "I will shortly be putting a call to my good friend President Uhuru Kenyatta." William Ruto said.

 "I haven't talked to him [Kenyatta] in months...I know he worked hard in his own way," The newly president-elect added sarcastically. Ruto went further:

 "I take no offence that he decided to choose and support somebody else and therefore we will remain friends."

 President Kenyatta fell out with his deputy William Ruto several months ago; Uhuru had openly supported Raila Odinga.

 Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the nation shortly. 

Now that Kenya's Supreme Court has spoken, all parties must put aside their differences and work peacefully and diligently for the country's benefit. One thing is clear, Kenya has again shown a high level of political maturity and respect for the rule of law in Africa. Other African countries must borrow a leaf from the East African country.