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President Uhuru insists Supreme Court ruling subverted the will of the people

By Moses Nyamori and Roselyn Obala | September 22nd 2017
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses leaders from pastoralist communities at State House Nairobi. He lashed out at the Judiciary over the poll petition judgement. [PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta sustained his attack on the Judiciary, describing the decision to annul his re-election as a judicial coup.

The Head of State Thursday said the detailed judgement of the Supreme Court released on Wednesday was unsatisfactory and asked the judges to explain how they arrived at their decision.

President Kenyatta, who addressed the nation from State House in Nairobi declared that never again would a court of law subvert the will of the people.

He said the court did not peruse documents the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) adduced before it as evidence that would have confirmed the credibility of the August 8 poll.

“The outcome was annulled on assumption that there were irregularities on the election forms. It is now manifestly clear, despite election forms being submitted in court, no proper scrutiny or verification of documents took place,” he said.

“I hold our steadfast position that the will of the people of Kenya was subverted by our courts. The Supreme Court owes Kenyans an explanation on how such a monstrous injustice could have taken place."

He believes the judgement robbed voters their democratic right and had the potential to plunge the country into judicial chaos.

"The effect and precedent set in that singular judgement says that a bench can nullify the decision of millions of Kenyans without due regard to evidence," Uhuru said.

 At the same time, the President said the repeat process must be done within the 60 days stipulated by the Constitution. IEBC yesterday announced October 26 as the new date for the fresh poll.

Opposition candidate Raila Odinga has insisted he will not allow the process to take place until all his demands are met.

Yesterday, the Cabinet approved Sh10 billion to cover the repeat election. The budget allocation will be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Uhuru told a delegation that it was unacceptable for four people to reverse the decision of the majority even as he affirmed that he was substantively in office until a new person was sworn in.

He questioned the essence of the sovereignty of the people as guaranteed in the Constitution, which he claimed had been taken away by the Apex court when it annulled the August 8th polls, yet he garnered 1.5million votes more than his rival, Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

“We have broken record, a judicial coup has happened in Kenya and done by four people at the court. This is a coup, nothing else. And I must call it what it is,” the President told close to 20,000 leaders from pastoralist communities at State House, Nairobi.

A member of the delegation shouted, ‘hapana hapana’, (no!) but he responded “Siwezi ogopa ndugu yangu,” (I have no fear, my brother) amidst cheers from the delegation.

“The answer we are remaining with is to respect the Constitution and abide by the ruling. We will not do it with violence or fights but will do so by casting our votes on the date announced by IEBC," Uhuru said.

He went on: “I have no threats to anyone, the courts have decided. We don’t agree but accept. No single individual or group of people will quell the voice of the people of Kenya. We will not make our voice heard through violence but through the ballot.”

The President said the superior court had set a dangerous precedent that had seen many other elective positions challenged on mere technicalities.

“All the gains we have made to bring people together, we have reversed them,” claimed Uhuru, adding that despite the setback, he was still the President until another was sworn in.

“I will not hesitate to discharge my duties as per the law. I will ensure Kenyans are protected as well as their properties. There will be adequate security,” he promised and insisted the repeat election would be held within the timeline set out by the Constitution.

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