The highest court of the land has nullified the hotly contested 8th August presidential election results. While issuing the judgment, Chief Justice David Maraga said the election was not conducted in accordance with the constitution. He continued to note that this transgression rendered the declared results “invalid, null, and void.” This is the first time a court has annulled a presidential election in Africa.
There was palpable excitement as crowds outside the courtroom broke into cheers as they chanted, “Uhuru Must Go!” Crowds filled several Nairobi streets celebrating the supreme court’s ruling. Reportedly, other towns including Mombasa, Kisii, Kisumu and Kakamega broke into wild cheers, song and dance. In Kakamega famed the Isikuti dancers made their way around town accompanied by boda boda riders.
Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, had expressed suspicion of foul play as soon IEBC head of technology. Chris Msando was abducted and brutally murdered. The opposition expressed doubts as early as the second day of tallying as the results showed his rival, incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, maintained a steady lead by 11%. This led to the theory that an algorithm had been introduced into the system to generate results using a pre-determined formula. NASA lawyer buttressed this theory in his submission at the supreme court when he said NASA experts found out the regression formula y = 1.2045x + 183546. Other transgressions inlcude; lack of security features such as watermarks and barcodes in some forms, illegal activity on IEBC servers, unsigned form 34As, 34Bs, and 34Cs.
There were fears that the opposition would call for mass action. However, the opposition leaders chose to head to the supreme court, armed with a 25,000-page petition contest the results. A move that was lauded by local and international observers.
Human rights groups had also expressed concerns over the credibility of the elections as several violations were reported. This concerns led to protests in the opposition leader’s strongholds, leading to several fatalities as the police used live bullets to quell the protests.
As of last night, several anti-riot trucks could be spotted presumably headed to Kisumu, raising suspicion that the police were planning to continue using deadly force to respond to protests should the supreme court uphold Uhuru’s win.
While lauding the supreme court judges for standing up for justice, Raila called for prosecution of IEBC commissioners saying they should charged with criminal offence. Some Jubilee leaders were however quick to dismiss the judgment, terming it as fake. Senator Irungu Kang’ata said, “the judgment is fake, the judges have admitted they haven’t read all the submissions, we shall win.” It is not yet clear whether IEBC will oversee the repeat election.