Raila Odinga: Presidential election results have subjected Kenya to global shame

Raila Odinga addressing journalists in Nairobi at a past event. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga has said that IEBC commissioners' differences on poll outcome have subjected Kenya to shame globally.

Odinga, who spoke on Saturday, August 20 at his Karen home where he hosted religious leaders, said it was shameful for the electoral commission, which has seven members, to announce "two sets of results".

He referred to the results announced by IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati, which declared UDA candidate William Ruto the president-elect and the claims by the differing four IEBC commissioners, who suggested that there could have been impropriety by Chebukati and two commissioners allied to him.

The commissioners who suggested that the results could have been tampered with are Juliana Cherera (vice-chairperson), Justus Nyang'aya, Francis Wanderi and Irene Masit.

On the other hand, Chebukati led commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye in announcing the presidential results on August 15.

Ruto was declared the winner with 7.18 million votes (50.49 per cent) against Odinga's 6.94 million votes (48.85 per cent).

In his address to journalists on Saturday, Odinga said they were at an advanced stage of challenging the presidential election results at the Supreme Court of Kenya.

"Many people [who expected an Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya victory in the presidential election] were shocked at the poll outcome. Many people are disappointed with the IEBC. However, it would be right to say that there are celebrations in a few parts of the country," said Odinga.

Odinga said Kenyans played their part by voting peacefully, but were failed by the electoral commission when it came to tallying and results declaration.

"We [in Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya] ran the race well, but the referee (IEBC) was biased. There are commissioners who declared Ruto the winner, then are those who said the results were not adding up. Those divisions show that Kenya's electoral management system and the democracy at large are yet to mature. We still have a long way to go."

According to the ODM leader, the fact that the IEBC commissioners "failed to speak with one voice" was telling.

"That development alone put Kenya to global shame. How is it possible for one commission to have two factions and two sets of results?"

The former prime minister said he and his team members were keen on peaceful elections and subsequent processes, hence their decision to file a petition at the Supreme Court.

"We don't want violence to erupt in Kenya. We'll fight for justice in court. What the IEBC conducted as an election was an absolute joke. That's not how you manage polls," he said, stating that sooner or later they'll present their suit papers at the Supreme Court.

The aggrieved party has until 2pm on Monday, August 22 to formally lodge their case.

Odinga was flanked by his running mate Martha Karua and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, among others.

Speaking at the venue, Mombasa Archbishop Martin Kivuva, who is also the chairperson of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was pleased to see the aggrieved party choosing constitutional means to resolve the electoral dispute.

Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit, who was also present at Odinga's home, said he too was happy that Kenya had remained peaceful, even after the disputed presidential outcome.

"Raila Odinga is a devoted Christian. There are those who claim that they don't know where he fellowships. However, I want to confirm to you today that Odinga and his family are members of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK). And I'm glad that the presidential candidate and his team have decided to pursue peaceful means of resolving the election-related conflict," said Ole Sapit.