Let the Supreme Court now do its job

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MACHEL WAIKENDA

Kenyan politics is gradually mutating towards a democratic path and maturity under the new constitution and credible institutions.

With just days since the just concluded General Elections results were announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the country has been under political dilemma awaiting the petition ruling by the Supreme Court.

Kenyans made their resounding and unambiguous verdict during the polls held on March 4 and whose outcome the Cord Coalition has chosen to contest in court.

The move to lodge cases challenging the outcome and process of the presidential election respectively is not only justified but a stride towards the right direction in doing things the right way.

This is particularly so because the Cord leader Raila Odinga unlike in 2007 when street protests appeared to have been the preferred way to contest the results, has commendably opted the right channel to challenge the election outcome.

However, when people rightly chose to take certain issues to their respective legal channels, they must equally remain committed respecting even the most common behavioural expectations like respecting the process.

The sanctity of the legal process must by all means remain protected from defilement even before it kicks off.

It is unfortunate the country is still delicately healing from the devastating aftermath of the 2007-2008 Post Election Violence mayhem that left over 1,000 people dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, others raped, maimed and property worth billions destroyed.

Needless to say, it is prudent to point out that judicial independence serves to protect the constitutional rights of all Kenyan citizens and ensures the rule of law prevails. Clearly, nobody is above the law.

The people in this great Republic want independent courts that are fair and impartial, accountable only to the law and the Constitution which explains why they overwhelmingly supported the new constitution.

These values must not be subjected to political attack or public court of judgment, never because that would be naked betrayal of public interest.

All acts manifestly seeking pre-judge a judicial process is tantamount to undermine judicial independence which is a sure way of subvert justice.

Reckless political statements that not only shamelessly disregards the judicial process but also potentially stand to polarize the country and raise political tensions are part of what Kenya loathes.

We must all be alive to the fact that national interests supersede individual interests.

Anybody of average intelligence know that public speechmaking about a matter that is before a court of law is prejudicial and amounts to contempt of court and certainly negates the primary obligation to allow a democratic process.

In this regard, the Supreme Court has a monumental case that will serve set a precedent for posterity.

If indeed the CORD coalition believes they won the election by 5.7 million votes, why did they not find that aspect necessary to be included in their petition? Would it not serve the coalition better to tell that to the Supreme Court judges who are handling the matter?

Judges are accountable to the Constitution and the law, not political pressure. Justice is administered on the basis of fairness and strength of the evidence put forth and such justifications are not weighed on the level of public outburst. That is how the courts are become accountable to the people.

It is the constitutional right for any aggrieved Kenyan citizen to seek legal redress but respect for the process cannot be over emphasized.

This is why the Kenyan people welcomed with great pleasure the assurance by the president of Supreme Court Chief Justice Willy Mutunga that the case before the Supreme Court will be dealt with fairly and without any form of bias.

The preservation fair, impartial and independent court system requires more than the integrity and strength of individual judges, it requires the ardent and steadfast support of the people through absolute respect to the judicial process.

At any rate, Kenyans have faith in the reformed Judiciary just like all other constitutional offices established under this new dispensation particularly because of immense public vetting involved during recruitment.

The judicial process is a Kenyan process that will seek to administer justice to the Kenyan citizenry and reaffirm their primary democratic and constitutional right to choose their leaders as opposed to fantasized factional course. That right must be safeguarded jealously.

Apparently, it is commendable that all parties involved in this suit have equivocally committed to rationally abide by the ruling that Supreme Court will deliver without backtracking to allow the country move on in nation building.

I have no doubt that the judges will have the wisdom and expertise to do what is just to the forty million Kenyans.

(The writer works for the Jubilee Coalition. Twitter @MachelWaikenda)

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  • Daniella

    Good observations…unfortunately we are still having many people address this issues in the streets: what powers does the court have over such utterances??

  • mtu

    The writer works for the jibilee coalition

  • beshte

    The Supreme Court needs to assert its place and Authority as the third force in the Constitution.

    This is a good chance to make themselves really powerful, unlike in the past where most power was held by the executive.

    I really want us to have even up to 5 elections until we get it
    right. The money we will spend for elections will be better used than
    the opposite (It being embezzled in State & County contracts)

    Elections really waste our time, and takes our economy back because everything comes to a standstill.

    I want us to be like Japan where they have up to 2 elections in a year when their Governments collapse.

    We need to make elections be ordinary stuff. Right now its like its
    such a big deal that folks will go to such a great length to rig
    themselves in and make fools of everyone.

    This is the Supreme courts Judges chance to earn their power and
    force us to learn to do things the right way, because we are all just
    too spoiled.

  • beshte

    I hope they don’t sell themselves cheap. I hope they understand they
    are also very powerful now in the new constitution. If they handle this
    case right they their value & Power goes really up, so why cheapen
    themselves with a weak ruling?

    The Supreme Court, Executive, Legislature ( Us Kenyans(raia are the 4th but silent power)

    But like US this is the perfect chance for the Supreme Court to flex and earn its powers.

    The inspector of police too is powerful, & the Governor of CBK

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