L-R: Martin Kimotho AKA 'githeri man', IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and CJ David Maraga

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  • The 2017 General Election was marred by violence and unusual happenings that will remain etched in the mind of Kenyans for a long time
  • It has been a journey fraught with surprises, humour, uncertainty, confusion, court battles, resignations, celebrations, deaths, and a cocktail of other emotions

As the repeat election process comes to a close, many people will remember it as the most winding election in Kenya's history.

Here are some notable people, events and memories we will carry with us from the elections:

Supreme Court Judgement

Supreme Court’s nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency placed Kenya in the core of world history as a country heading towards complete judicial independence.

Chief Justice David Maraga's name will feature as the judge who made a ruling that sent ripples across the globe.

The interwebs broke, with Maraga being the most mentioned name among Kenyan users. Parody accounts soon sprung up, as people tried to steal the limelight from the man who previously lived a private and sheltered life.

Legal battle

When the National Super Alliance (NASA) filed a petition at the Supreme Court against President Uhuru Kenyatta's victory what followed were intense twists and turns in the court corridors, a semblance of a legal reality TV show that aired for days.

Jubilee defence was led by lawyer Fred Ngatia, bringing along decades of experience in the legal field, coupled with a reputation of almost nil losses in cases he had previously litigated.

On his heels was politician and lawyer James Orengo, known for his mastery of the constitution. Otiende Omollo made a grand entry as a newbie in politics who gained popularity for his confidence and articulation.

IEBC lawyer Paul Muite was armed with documents and tackles towards opposing counsel.  PLO Lumumba brought his flowery language and legal jargon. By the time the ruling was made, more than ten of the country's respected lawyers had graced the court.

Irene Mwangi, a lawyer in Nairobi says she watched it all in awe.

“The play was more than the words and defence presented. Even the strategies used made it a very interesting case to watch,” she says.

'Other' presidential candidates

When they entered the race, they were branded 'others' by many who regarded them as nonstarters in a race among two horses; Uhuru and Raila.  Although some faded into the background as campaigns intensified; their names will be remembered, even if for a short time, as men who dared to step up in a ring of heavy weights, ignoring all the trolls and nay sayers who belittled their candidacy.

Notable among them is Thirdway Alliance Presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot who fought to be included in the ballot for the fresh elections to the last minute.

Ekuru Aukot

"I cannot be called a non-starter as long as my decision creates an impact,” Aukot said in a previous media interview.

Japheth Kaluyu will be remembered for his American accent and insistence that he will win elections. Abduba Dida was the man with the sense of humour when things got thick, Ekuru Aukot showed the real meaning of determination, while Cyrus Jirongo was plagued by past debts that he struggled to shake off.

The One-day wonder

The elections brought with it sensations that thrilled Kenyans.  They fizzled out, as people grasped the next one-day wonder.

One such wonder was Muthiora Kariara, running mate of presidential candidate Japheth Kaluyu. He got Kenyans talking when he showed up for the highly boycotted presidential debate and floored them with his well-articulated arguments.

Ngania Mellisa

By the time the debate was over, the most asked question was: “Who is that young man?” Before most people would memorise his name, he had fizzled out of people’s mind.

Shortly after, the country went to the polls, and the ‘Githeri man’ sensation stole the show. So talked about was the man in an oversized coat carrying githeri in a plastic bag, that in a few hours, media houses were looking for him. Companies also wanted to have a share of the publicity, buying him new attire and gifting him a piece of land.

Election results were announced, and Chiloba caught women's eyes. The word Chilobae was shared widely, even more than the results he was releasing. The craze ended almost immediately, and was replaced by Chilobye when IEBC was caught up in legal fights over nullified elections

Ngania Mellisa’s name took over. She was a young lawyer in the high voltage presentation of experienced lawyers. Even though she did not have much time at the court, Ng’ania who works for Wairegi Gatetua and Associates in Nairobi etched her name among Kenyans as one of the lawyers who handled the most watched cases.

Roselyn Akombe

Roselyn Akombe’s resignation as IEBC Commissioner shocked the country. Interviews were done, speculations made, opinions written, emotion flared, and then there was silence. She had left.

Kenya police brutaly

The 2017 general elections was marked by rallies, demonstrations, boycotts and calls for picketing.

In all these, police were involved. As they acted to control crowds, they were accused of using excessive force. The death of six-month-old baby Pendo after she was clobbered on the head by police shook the country.  Then came the brutalities meted upon University of Nairobi students and demonstrators in Kisumu.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights in their latest October report estimates post poll deaths to be 37, with other agencies claiming the number could be higher.

When police raided billionaire Jimi Wanjigi’s home there were mixed reactions of whether the excessive force used was warranted, with many feeling the officers had gone overboard.

The huge fight on live TV

First it was a press briefing by NASA leaders. Then Jubilee leaders called for another in the same venue. Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said the two parties are foes in public, but friends in private.

He went ahead to say the NASA team that had just addressed the media were in fact waiting for him to pay for their tea. 

That statement is what irked Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch who stormed the press conference demanding for Kipchumba to withdraw it. After a bitter verbal exchange that almost ended in fist fights, the two teams were separated.

Kenyans called it a shame, with some blaming media for airing the fight.