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We're getting ready for election petitions, says CJ Martha Koome

By Joackim Bwana | October 15th 2021

CJ Martha Koome (left) chats with Nigeria’s Supreme Court judge Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad during a training workshop on election petitions for Supreme Court judges. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The Judiciary is getting ready to handle petitions that may arise from next year's General Election, according to Chief Justice Martha Koome.

Justice Koome, who spoke while opening a training workshop on election petitions for Supreme Court judges in Mombasa, said they are currently refreshing themselves on the rules, procedures, and laws that will be applied in resolving the disputes.

They are also reviewing past decisions during the training will cover, among others, handling presidential election petitions.

“We are preparing for the 2022 General Election. We are trying to keep abreast of the laws that will be applied during the petitions. We are also looking at past decisions, including similar decisions in neighbouring countries as we seek to know how they navigated,” said Koome.

Also present were Ghana’s Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Nigeria’s Supreme Court judge Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, Justice Healey Potani of Malawi's Supreme Court and retired judge Aaron Ringera.

The CJ also witnessed the signing of an MoU between the Judiciary Training Institute and the Attorney General Alliance (AGA-Africa) to up the fight against corruption and transboundary crime.

CJ Martha Koome (left) speaks during a training workshop on election petitions for Supreme Court judges. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The MoU was signed by Supreme Court judge Smokin Wanjala, who is the institute's director, and AGA-Africa board member Markus Green.

“By expanding our international networks and forming collaborative working relationships with other judiciaries across Africa, our judges and judicial officers will be able to learn and share knowledge and experiences from this wider learning community of judicial practice,” said Koome.

Justice Yeboah noted the judiciaries of Ghana and Kenya have worked together since 2013 to resolve election disputes.

“The then CJ of Ghana Justice Theodore Woods came to Kenya at the time there was a dispute over the election results,” he said, adding that African nations should work together to solve their own issues without relying on external help.

“We can work together and move on a common front to solve our own problems."

Justice Wanjala said the agreement will support sharing of knowledge and experiences, develop and strengthen human and institutional capacity and enhance access to information. 

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