Mudavadi: African court's opinion on elections not applicable to Kenya

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi is received by Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia at the county headquarters in OlKalou on July 24, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The decision of the African Court on Human Rights giving member states the green light to postpone elections due to the Covid-19 pandemic should not apply to Kenya by default, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi has said.

Speaking in Nyandarua County yesterday Mudavadi said the advisory opinion by the Arusha-based can only apply if it is domesticated into the Kenyan law.

“Our supreme law is the Constitution of Kenya. We cannot have a treaty or an advisory to overrule the Constitution unless it is domesticated. We are going as per the Constitution timelines on August 9 next year,” said the Amani National Congress leader.

His host, Governor Francis Kimemia, also weighed in on the matter, saying any alterations on polls date should only be necessitated by matters of national interest.

“There can either be an extension or a reduction of a term, which should be based on national interests, such as national security. Uhuru (President Kenyatta) is my friend with a dream for a great country but not extending his term,” said Kimemia.

Mudavadi, who is a member of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), castigated Deputy President William Ruto’s bottom-up approach, saying it is not realistic.

“Trickle-down and bottom-up semantics do not add value without a realistic plan. They could be planning to loot further. People should promise what they can deliver,” he said.

The former Deputy Prime Minister exuded confidence that the country will have a peaceful transition.

“Uhuru’s government has hit great milestones in uniting Kenyans and setting the base for sustainable peace. I’m here for political reasons but we must make sure we are cohesive as Kenyans,” he said.

Kimemia said reorganising the Jubilee Party would restore its glory and position it for a winning coalition in the next General Election.

“Jubilee has not lost its popularity but suffered disorganisation and infighting. We appeal to the president to reorganise the party. What will matter next year is a coalition of like-minded people. People who love peace and with the same ideologies,” said the governor.

Although he was not specific on the people who have wrecked the party, Kimemia said, “There are people in the party and when they talk, the president loses a million supporters. They are among those who should first go.”

The governor embraced Mudavadi as a presidential hopeful, noting that he had worked with him in previous governments.

“I have worked with Mudavadi in the past three administrations. He has a proven work record. We share their ideologies of peace and uplifting the humble backgrounds,” said Kimemia.

He said for peace, all presidential hopefuls should be welcomed across the country to seek support from Kenyans.

“Let people declare their interests and the people shall decide. I believe Mudavadi is a better alternative for this country’s leadership after Uhuru,” said Kimemia.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja urged Kenyans to dismiss claims that President Kenyatta intends to extend his term by postponing the next General Election.

“The people around him are talking about an extension but that is their opinion, not the president’s. The Constitution is sacred and must be respected,” said Sakaja.