NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – A video recording of former US Secretary of State John Kerry stating that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had put in place adequate systems to ensure integrity of the 2017 General Election was Tuesday afternoon played before the Supreme Court.
This was during submissions of lawyer Fred Ngatia who is representing Uhuru Kenyatta in the petition, which was filed by National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga against the presidential election results.
In the recording, Kerry who was one of the international observers during the polls pointed out that all parties were given an opportunity to state whether they agreed or disagreed with the Forms 34A tally.
“We observed an election process with more than 400 observers from nine different missions who all agreed that the basic process of carrying out the election was quite positive, even if there were little aberrations here and there,” he had said in response to a question on the validity of the elections.
In the video, Kerry made the observation that the General Election was ultimately a paper ballot.
“We believe that the elections commission in Kenya has put together a process that will allow each and every votes integrity to be proven and to be protected. Everyone was present when the ballots were open; they were present when they were closed,” he said.
Ngatia contended that based on the remarks, the court should be focusing on the Forms 34A describing the discrepancies raised as totally insignificant.
He further accused Odinga of seeking to invalidate an election that was valid and that there was one recurring theme that the process was free, fair and credible.
He also argued that there was no mathematical predetermined way of voting in the contest.
The court session on Tuesday began with Chief Justice David Maraga warning the IEBC against failing to fully comply with the order directing it to provide access to its servers for scrutiny, following an application by lawyers representing Odinga.
This followed a complaint by Odinga’s lead lawyer James Orengo that the electoral body was frustrating them, with claims that the main servers are in Europe.
Maraga warned of consequences should the electoral commission fail to grant access as per orders issued Monday ahead of the 5pm deadline when a report is due in court.
Lawyer Paul Muite who is representing the electoral commission stated that the IEBC was complying with the order but indicated that the servers were in Europe.
On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered that the petitioners NASA presidential candidate Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka be granted read-only access, with the same extended to President Uhuru Kenyatta who is listed as the third respondent in the presidential petition.
There were only six judges sitting on Tuesday after Justice Mohammed Ibrahim was taken ill.
Maraga who is heading the seven-judged bench stated that Ibrahim was being attended to by a doctor and allowed the proceedings to continue in his absence, citing tight timelines.