Raila Odinga’s petition requests the Supreme Court of Kenya to nullify the recently concluded presidential election based on assertions that the election:
- was badly conducted and marred with irregularities
- had strings of errors in the entire process
- had instances of votes being deducted from Raila and added to Uhuru
- results included some vote tallying documents (for example, forms 34A and 34B) that were unsigned, and
- in some instances, had the name of same officer simultaneously appear as the official in charge of multiple stations.
Raila also claims fraud based on the argument that the sum of all gubernatorial votes failed to add up to the higher sum of all presidential votes. Let’s be cognizant of the fact that it is not mandatory to vote for all categories on the ballot. A voter can select to vote for the president and not vote for the governor.
At best, there is no case here! Raila’s legal position in this case is very weak; and the task for the Supreme Court judges will be easy in issuing a verdict.
Easy Verdict – Why?
Let’s face it!
Jubilee Domination at the Ballot
Jubilee and its affiliated parties commandingly dominated every category in the ballot from the governor all the way down to the MCAs. As a rule of thumb, if a voter selects a candidate of a certain party below the presidency, the same voter would be expected, in almost every case to select the presidential candidate of the same party. Jubilee dominance in all the categories below the presidential ticket means Jubilee dominance at the presidential vote.
To the contrary, NASA and its affiliated parties suffered a net loss and humiliation in every category below the presidential ticket relative to the 2013 poll. A reasonable person would therefore, expect the presidential ticket to also suffer a net loss in line with the losses sustained at the lower categories.
Raila’s burden in the court room will be to produce proof showing how a voter who voted for Jubilee at the positions below the presidency switched and voted for the NASA presidential ticket at the top. It is a tall order.
Invalidate Presidential Vote means Invalidate Entire Poll
According to the IEBC website, results for the Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, and Women’s Representatives were all processed and transmitted to IEBC through the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS). This means that if you nullify the presidential vote, you must also invalidate all other votes processed through KIEMS. Hence, if you validate one category of votes, then you must also accept votes for all other positions. Therefore, Raila’s petition is indirectly asking the court to invalidate the entire election and have a do over. The problem is that losers of many positions below the presidency have conceded and the winners have already been sworn in. This makes it quite difficult for the Supreme Court to decide on a comprehensive electoral annulment; it compels the judges to lean more towards upholding President Uhuru’s win.
No Fuss When Raila Odinga Wins
The boy who cried wolf effect will work against Raila. Why so? During Raila’s 20 years tenure as the MP for Lang’ata, not once did he claim rigging simply because he was winning. However, for each of the four (4) unsuccessful attempts at the presidency, Raila has refused to concede and has pervasively complained of being rigged. In 2007, it was a tragedy that resulted in more than 1,300 people losing their lives. In 2013 and 2017, loss of lives and property was and has been witnessed due to Raila’s stubbornness. Raila loves to win; Raila hates to lose.
When Peter, the boy who cried wolf became bored herding sheep not far from his village, he amused himself by crying wolf, woolf, wooooolf. In response to Peter’s cries, the villagers stopped everything they were doing, ran to the pasture to save the sheep from the wolf’s jaws only to find naughty Peter laughing. Peter played this joke over and over again, but when the real wolf came into the fold, nobody from the village attended to his wolf calls. The villagers responded with; “Is that the same Peter, again?” To the surprise of the villagers, a real wolf was present at the final cry (which they ignored) and killed many sheep. The lesson here is that “liars are not believed even when they speak the truth”.
Poll Results Margin
The gap between Uhuru and Raila votes was 1,401,286 or 9.23% of the all votes. Assuming the Supreme Court decides to award Raila all the 408,688 rejected and disputed presidential votes and the approximately 310,00 votes from the 443 unregistered polling stations that NASA claims to have existed, Raila’s total votes would still be lower than Uhuru’s total by 682,598 votes. Therefore, the math for Raila fails to add up.
Taxpayer Cost of Nullifying
Nullifying the presidential vote is easy; however, the cost to the taxpayer of reconstituting the electoral machinery, campaigning, and shutting down all business functions in the country in order to allow people to go and vote is astronomical and unnecessary. Added to the financial cost is the anxiety; the renewed clouds of fear; and uncertainty that will engulf the entire nation. A totally unnecessary undertaking and this again, will compel the judiciary to uphold the results as announced by the IEBC.
Similar to the decision of 2013, the Supreme court will reject Raila’s petition and uphold President Uhuru’s victory. After the Supreme Court’s verdict in 2013, Raila’s message to the nation was that “Kenya is more important and urged Uhuru to reunite all Kenyans and uphold the constitutionalism”. Raila should do the same this time around because it is the honorable thing to do.
By Paddy Mwembu | firstname.lastname@example.org