Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld William Ruto’s presidential win in a scathing judgement that blasted opposition leader Raila Odinga’s accusations of cheating.
In the presidential election that took place on 15th August, 2022, Ruto garnered 7,176,141 votes making 50.49% while Raila Odinga garnered 6,942,930 votes making 48.85%.
Odinga challenged William Ruto’s win in the Supreme Court and alleged the tally had involved “criminality”.
In his petition, Odinga asked the court to nullify the vote’s outcome on several grounds, including a mismatch between the turnout figures and the result, and alleges the election commission failed to tally ballots from 27 constituencies, rendering the result unverifiable and unaccountable.
“We have enough evidence to prove all of the criminality that occurred. We are confident that in the end, the truth will be revealed,” Odinga said.
In a televised judgement, Chief Justice Martha Koome, who heads the seven-member court, dismissed all the eight petitions challenging the elections.
“The court found some of these petitions were based on forged documents and “sensational information”, Chief Justice Martha Koome said in a unanimous decision on behalf of the seven judges.
“No credible evidence that the electronic voting transmission system had been tampered with by a supposed “middle man” was presented,” she said.
Koome even raised the possibility of perjury, noting that two people who filed affidavits allegedly on behalf of polling stations agents had not spoken to the agents.
“Swearing to falsehoods is a criminal offence,” she said.
Ms. Koome also said that Mr Ruto had met the constitutional threshold of garnering 50%+1 of votes cast.
“IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results in accordance with the provided constitutional law.”
“This court upholds the election of the first respondent (William Ruto) as the president-elect,” Koome ruled.
Kenya’s 5th President William Ruto will be sworn in on September 13th, 2022.
WE RESPECT OPINION OF COURT BUT DISAGREE WITH RULING – ODINGA
Meanwhile, Odinga has disagreed with the Supreme court ruling.
“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,” Odinga’s statement reads.
He adds, “Our lawyers proffered irrefutable evidence and the facts were on our side, unfortunately the judges saw it otherwise. We find it incredible that the judges found against us on all nine grounds and occasion resulted to unduly exaggerated language to refute our claims.
“This judgement is by no means the end of our movement, in fact it inspires us to redouble our efforts to transform this country into a prosperous democracy where each and every Kenyan can find their full belonging.
“We thank our supporters and Kenyans across the country for standing with us. We will be communicating in the near future on our plans to continue our struggle for transparency, accountability and democracy,” Odinga adds.
This is Odinga’s fifth attempt at the presidency; he blamed several previous losses on rigging. Those disputes triggered violence that claimed more than 100 lives in 2017 and more than 1,200 lives in 2007.
THIS MARKS THE END OF POLITICS OF DECEIT, BETRAYAL AND CONMANSHIP – RUTO
Reacting to the Supreme Court ruling, Kenya’s new President-elect Williams Ruto, accompanied by his wife Mama Rachel Ruto and his running mate, and future deputy president Rigathi Gachagua with wife laid out his vision of a democratic Kenya.
Ruto said he welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold his election victory with “tremendous humility” and praised the judges for their “neutrality” and “patriotism”.
Even though it is well known that President Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto – who was his deputy – fell out several years ago, which saw Mr. Kenyatta backing his opponent Mr. Raila Odinga, Ruto said he will put a call to him.
“I will shortly be putting a call to my good friend President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said to laughter from all those watching on.
“I haven’t talked to him [Kenyatta] in months…I know he worked hard in his own way… I take no offence that he decided to choose and support somebody else and therefore we will remain friends.”
Mr. Ruto also said that Mr. Kenyatta will be treated well.
“We will respect our president in his retirement… we are honourable people, we are not petty and we are not jealous. He has done a good job and he will have his place in the history of Kenya. Nobody should harbour anything against the president of Kenya.”
Ruto promised to stamp out division in Kenya and forge a path of unity saying democracy should not be an “acrimonious enterprise”.
He extended a hand of friendship to his political opponents, saying those who voted for his competitors all want what is best for Kenya and that he is committed to delivering that.
“We are not enemies, we are Kenyans. Let us unite to make Kenya a nation of which everyone shall be proud to call home.”
“This marks the end of the politics of deceit, betrayal and conmanship,” he said.
“We want the politics of the Kenya of the future – every leader must be judged on what they say and what they say is what they do.”
By Hope Kalamira