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At the end of the day, Kenya must win

By Kipkoech Tanui | Published Fri, September 1st 2017 at 00:00, Updated August 31st 2017 at 21:18 GMT +3
Chief Justice David Maraga

SUMMARY

  • Kenya has bled from a political fissure since the 2003 elections
  • After 2007, Kenya bled and in 2013 our unity suffered deep bruises
  • Kenya must win and that is what we expect of Justice David Maraga

Hopefully by nightfall today, we will have known if President Uhuru Kenyatta remains president or if we will be queuing to vote again. This will be a long day indeed for both the ruling Jubilee Party and Raila Odinga's National Super-Alliance.

Mr Kenyatta will be waiting for an assurance that he won't be heading back to the campaign trail, and if he has to, it could mean planning to hire moving companies.

ALSO READ: Uhuru's three faced strategy to dismantle Raila's petition

But being a wise man who knows a case can go either way, Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto surely must have, regardless of their individual confidence levels, prepared for the prospect of their victory being annulled.

To do this, does not mean accepting that the election stinks or that they blustered their way back to office through crooked ways. No, it is to be streetwise. For Mr Odinga, it is a long day waiting to know if he will have a fifth (or a repeat of fourth) attempt to be president.

Today is a day to reflect on all the battles fought and lost and to pray for one more chance in the ring to accomplish what his father didn't and what Uhuru's father did with the help of Jaramogi, his father.

But like in any court outcome, a part of his heart must be toying with the tragic consequence of losing the case. If it comes to this, it would be a time for retrospection by the political giant who has kept three successive presidents scratching their heads about what his next foxy move might be.

This is a ruling that will no doubt leave one side devastated and grieving, and the other jubilant and perhaps arrogantly so.

For a Kenyan politician, a win is celebrated by chest-thumping.

Whichever way it goes there is no ruling out protests here and there. It is a sad reality but don't we all agree that our institutions are tools of the Executive? So either way, there must be a non-judicial reason why the judges took a certain position, we reason with ourselves.

Without casting aspersions on the venerable judges of the Supreme Court, over the past few days, we have heard a lot about their likely individual stands based on tribe, religion, career-path, religious and social affinity, and past political linkages. But no doubt, the judges will only limit themselves to the limitations and dictates of law for that is the burden history has thrust on them.

ALSO READ: Uhuru's three faced strategy to dismantle Raila's petition

They have the chance in history to redeem the image of the court that was sunk by a one-paragraph ruling in 2013. They have to explain their argument, they have to anchor their words in certainty and not vagueness and generalities. A precision and demonstration that their judgement is solid and not skewed is what Kenyans expect, want and are demanding.

If the IEBC system was compromised, the technology experts must tell the country. If it wasn't, we need to be given proof. Were the forms substantively alien to those of IEBC? If it wasn't or the impact to the overall tally insignificant, then let 'My Lords' and 'My Ladies' tell us. And if the law was severely flouted then let it be shown and if it wasn't let it be made as clear as day and night.

Now, if the ruling favours UhuRuto, they should know that it is an opportunity to unite and not to gloat over Kenyans, and spitting on faces of millions who didn't vote for them. When former President Moi was overwhelmingly rejected by the Kikuyu and Luo, he nominated two members of the communities to Parliament and made them ministers – Dalmas Otieno and Joseph Kamotho.

Kenya has bled from a political fissure since the 2003 elections when Mwai Kibaki cut off Mr Odinga's political hand despite the immense support he got from him.

After 2007, Kenya bled and in 2013 our unity suffered deep bruises. Now is the time to sooth the wounds. If we are ordered back to the polls, Mr Odinga's humility and statesmanship must be demonstrated in word and deed.

He must show respect to the millions who voted against him. Like Mr Kenyatta, he too must extend the olive branch and put us on the road to a peaceful rerun. Would the referees be Wafula Chebukati and Ezra Chiloba?

But at the end of the day, Kenya must win and that is what we expect of Justice David Maraga before he starts his Sabbath this evening.

ALSO READ: Sick Supreme Court judge misses hearing of Raila petition


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