The election of William Samoei Ruto as the fifth president of the Republic of Kenya was affirmed by the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon.
Candidate for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Raila Odinga’s suit claiming that Dr. Ruto’s declaration was invalid was dismissed by the Chief Justice Martha Koome-led Bench by a unanimous vote.
As the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya, Ruto was declared by the court to have been duly elected.
“Petitions one to seven are hereby dismissed. We declare that the election of William Ruto as President is valid, each party to bear its own costs,”
Martha Koome stated.
According to Koome, the court did not find any proof supporting the claim made by Odinga’s camp that the IEBC systems had been hacked in order to tamper with the results.
In response to the split of the IEBC commissioners, Martha Kome said: “apart from their eleventh-hour denunciation of the verification process …the four commissioners have not shown any evidence that the election was compromised”.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its chairperson Wafula Chebukati were correct to round off percentages, according to Chief Justice Martha Koome.
“The president-elect attained 50%+1 of the total votes cast as evidenced by Forms,” she stated.
Response to issues
CJ Martha Koome provided an overview of the court’s stance on each of the nine points included by the combined petition while delivering the condensed decision.
According to Koome, the court was pleased with the first issue, which concerned whether the technology used by the IEBC to conduct the vote on August 9 fulfilled the norms of integrity, verifiability, security, and transparency to ensure accurate and verifiable results. The bench, she said, was not persuaded by the petitioners’ claims that the technology did not adhere to the necessary standards.
Koome said that the IEBC did a good job of describing the operation of the KIEMS election technology kits and that in places where the technology failed, they made sure that Kenyans cast their ballots using the manual register. “The scrutiny orders by the court did not show any security breaches,” Koome stated.
Koome said that there was no convincing evidence provided for the second claim that there had been tampering with the uploading and transmission of polling station results from the polling stations to the IEBC public portal.
“No credible evidence that forms 34A was being downloaded and uploaded was adduced, and that no evidence of middle man or evidence that IEBC chairman was part of the alleged conspiracy,” Koome stated.
Difference in for 34a
Koome stated that a review of the forms from 41 polling stations revealed no irregularities. This was in response to the question of whether there was a difference between Forms 34A uploaded on the IEBC public portal, those received at the national tallying center, and Forms 34As issued to the agents at the polling stations.
The denied John Githongo’s claims that 56 hackers in Karen altered the outcome of the presidential election.
Julie Soweto’s claims that Jose Camargo meddled in the presidential election were also rejected by the seven-member panel, which described her passionate court argument as “hot air.”
“There were no significant differences captured on physical original forma and uploaded forms at the IEBC portal which could have affected the credibility of the presidential election,” she stated.
In response to question number four, which asked whether voter suppression against the petitioners occurred as a result of the postponement of the gubernatorial and parliamentary elections in the counties of Kakamega and Mombasa, as well as the parliamentary elections in the Kitui Rural, Kachileba, Rongai, and Pokot South constituencies and electoral wards in Nyaki West in the North Imenti constituency and Kwa Njenga in the Embakasi South
“It has not been shown that IEBC acted in bad faith in postponing the elections, we are satisfied that it was occasioned by a genuine mistake,” she said.
The judges determined that the petitioner failed to present any evidence to support ballot stuffing on the fifth point, which concerned whether there were any inexplicable differences between votes cast for presidential candidates and other elective offices.
“IEBC provided explanation on the discrepancies of the votes, the number of stray votes was insignificant and therefore can’t result in a nullification,” Koome stated.
When asked if the IEBC followed the guidelines in Articles 138(3)C and 138(10) of the Constitution in carrying out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results, the judges concluded that the IEBC had followed these guidelines.
The court said that it did not uncover any credible proof that the IEBC Chairperson operated alone.
The justices noted that all the commissioners participated in the process because they could be seen alternately declaring the presidential election results on live television.
Additionally, they decided that the four commissioners who disagreed with Chebukati’s announcement did not provide any proof that the results were not as expected.
“Are we to nullify an election on account of a last minute boardroom rupture? This we can not do,” Koome stated.
The judges decided that the President-Elect did get 50 percent plus one vote of the total votes cast, as required by Article 138(4) of the Constitution, on the seventh issue.
The court concluded that there were no irregularities or illegalities of a size that would have affected the outcome of the presidential election on the eighth question, which concerned whether they had any bearing on the election’s final results.