, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – Siaya Senator-elect James Orengo and former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairman Maina Kiai have been censured by the Supreme Court for accessing a room where the court is conducting a re-tallying of votes from 22 polling centres.
According to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, the court received a report that the two, together with petitioner Gladwell Otieno and George Kegoro of the International Commission of Jurists went to the tallying hall at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) causing disturbance.
“At 9pm last night Maina Kiai went to the tallying centre with a cameraman and at 10pm Senior Counsel Orengo, George Kegoro and Gladwell Otieno went there. It is reported that security had a hard time. We want to warn you the acts amount to contempt of court,” the CJ cautioned.
He said the tallying centre was an extension of the Supreme Court.
“I am very surprised (to be told it was wrong) because I was there; other counsel were there, security did not allow me (yet) they did not know why I was there but I also had very good discussions with the Registrar of the Supreme Court. My behaviour in court is always beyond reproach,” Orengo said in defence.
Kiai on his part admitted he was filming and that it was for purposes of keeping a record. He said that it was done from outside.
“I was doing a piece-to-camera; it was not done inside, if that is wrong I wish to apologise,” he said.
Justice Njoki Ndung’u however warned the counsel who had chosen representatives for the re-tallying process to keep off the venue.
“If you are an agent of your party and not part of the proceedings at KICC you should address us in court and not at the centre where your role could be misconstrued,” she asserted.
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a recount of votes cast at 22 polling stations on Tuesday.
According to the court, re-tallying is meant to ascertain if the number of votes cast exceeds the number of registered voters in the respective stations.
The court also ordered for scrutiny of all forms 34 and 36 used by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in tallying the presidential election results.
“Re-tallying is to be done in 22 polling stations to verify the numbers of votes cast, valid votes and rejected votes,” said Supreme Court Judge Smokin Wanjala.
“On forms 36 the scrutiny will be aimed at ascertaining accuracy of transfer from forms 34 comparing the numbers on both forms,” the judge added.
Forms 34 contain results as recorded at each polling station while forms 36 holds aggregated results from forms 34.
Among the areas listed for re-tallying is the Don Bosco Primary School, St Andrews Primary School, Nairibi, Sango Primary School and the NCC social hall.
Both the petitioners and respondents were ordered to appoint 10 agents each to act as observers in the process.
The results of the re-tallying are expected to be filed by the Supreme Court by 4pm on Wednesday.