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Why Supreme Court ruling was so significant for Kenya

By Mohamed Guleid | Published Thu, September 7th 2017 at 00:00, Updated September 6th 2017 at 21:23 GMT +3
From left)Hon.Justice Njoki Susanna Ndung'u,Smokin Wanjala ,deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu,Chief Justice David Maraga, Jackton Ojwang and Justice Isaac Lenaola Six beach Judges during the ruling of presidential results at Supreme court on 1st September 2017.Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

If I were President Uhuru Kenyatta, I would not have accepted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in its current form to manage the upcoming repeat presidential elections.

In the first place, this October 17 election is unique in the sense that it is the first time in Kenya’s history that the presidential election is being organised on its own without elections for other seats.

Right now, the IEBC does not have the confidence of the Kenyan people. Many Kenyans feel the elections were not managed well.

Just like the National Super Alliance (NASA) is afraid, Jubilee Party needs to be even more afraid. To have free and fair elections is in the interests of everyone in Kenya.

The Supreme Court decision is probably the best thing that could have happened in Kenya other than the promulgation of the current constitution and acquiring independence from our colonial masters.

Important festival

The euphoria in Kenya last Friday after the David Magara-led Supreme Court ruling, on a day when Muslims around the world were celebrating an important festival, was significant.

The coincidence needs further analysis on the significance of two very important occasions taking place the same day.

The Idd-Ul-Adha celebration is reminiscent of the sacrifice of Abraham’s beloved son on instruction from God according to both Islamic and Christian scriptures.

On this occasion, Muslims reaffirm the covenant with God by celebrating and sacrificing a lamb to mimic the actions of Abraham.

In the Abrahamic tradition, the sacrifice of a lamb for God signifies the start of a particular order in society. According to the Islamic tradition, it signifies a radical change from the past and a new beginning.

When Abraham was ordered by God to sacrifice his beloved son, God's instruction meant a new social order that demanded total obedience.

In my view, when Justice Maraga's team made the precedent-setting ruling to nullify the August 8 presidential election, it was not just about the election itself.

I believe the ruling was dictated by God through Maraga on a day when a similar groundbreaking decision was made by Abraham.

The weight of making such decisions is not easy.

The six judges must have decided they were ready to offend the different sides of the political divide. But just like Abraham, such important decisions come with a heavy price.

The IEBC as a body is now severely dented. This is a moral issue. It is no longer an issue of whether Jubilee is right or NASA is right.

It is a new beginning for Kenya. The lamb has been sacrificed through the Supreme Court. Kenyans now want to see a change in how we resolve our issues.

The decision by the Supreme Court also means we should use this momentum to fight corruption, nepotism and other social ills.

The judges of the Supreme Court acted as the sacrificial lamb. One way to affirm to God's new direction for Kenya is to cut off any institution that has links with corruption or incompetence.

The IEBC symbolically represents pre-Supreme Court ruling institutions and should not be allowed anywhere near conducting such an important election. Kenya needs to start serious reforms and change the way we conduct our business.

Democratic space

Meanwhile, we can ask the United Nations to oversee the repeat presidential election at the beginning of November.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this because Kenya is a member of the United Nations and any attempt to show complete transparency will only inspire other Third World countries to be bold.

The boldness demonstrated by the Supreme Court judges has suddenly catapulted our country to international fame.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee administration should take credit for that rather than condemning the judges. It is under his leadership that the democratic space has been expanded.

 Mr Guleid is the former deputy governor, Isiolo County