By Tysan, November 21, 2017: Chief Justice David Maraga led Kenya’s Supreme Court to a unanimous decision that President Uhuru Kenyatta was lawfully re-elected in the October 26 repeat election. Opposition candidate Raila Odinga had withdrawn from the race and did not challenge Kenyatta’s win, but three petitions were filed challenging the election. Such a petition had led to the first balloting being annulled by the court.
The court had two options: It could uphold Kenyatta’s win which will see him sworn in next week as president for a second term, or it could nullify his win for a second time and call for a third round of voting within 60 days. The ruling came amid heightened tensions and security concerns in the country. On Friday (November 17) several opposition supporters were left dead and others injured when they clashed with police as they welcomed Odinga back from a trip overseas.
There was also chaos in parts of Nairobi when four people were found brutally murdered at Riverside Estate in Baba Dogo. Odinga visited the area and claimed the government carried out the killings as part of ethnic cleansing efforts. Deputy President William Ruto condemned the killings and called on police to carry out thorough investigations to bring the killers to book. The cabinet officer ultimately in charge of the police throughout the nation is also an Adventist, Fred Matiangi.
The full document version of the Supreme Court decisions will be written and published in the next 21 days. Kenyatta’s lawyer, Ahamednassir Abdulahi applauded the ruling and said it is time the president takes charge for the next five years. Odinga said the regime is illegitimate despite the ruling, and in a statement to AT maintained that the court made its decision under duress, adding that he does not blame the court but sympathizes with it.
Odinga has called on the international community to intervene and prevent Kenya from sliding into anarchy. He made this plea from a Nairobi hospital after visiting Member of Parliament Anthony Oluoch from Mathare who was shot. Odinga said that the current situation would turn ugly if a solution is not reached soon. The opposition leader also said it was time for religious leaders to rise to the occasion and speak against police brutality by Kenyatta’s administration.
He said President Kenyatta and his staff were abdicating their duty to make the country’s presidency a symbol of national unity. He accused the administration of engaging in hate and incitement of violence instead of preaching reconciliation and seeking an end to the current turmoil. “They are pushing the country onto a precipice,” he said. “Instead of apologizing, they are inciting people.”
Odinga said that he had witnessed police shoot MP Oluoch as the politicians visited the Mathare area trying to cool down tempers. He said that NASA would not be intimidated to surrender its push for reforms, insisting that the opposition will stand firm with the people.
“Respect the law!” President Kenyatta warned Odinga. The president also stressed that he will not succumb to NASA intimidations. He issued a stern warning that his government will not allow anyone to break the law. “We will not let a few people ruin our country. We have a constitution and we are a nation that is governed by rules and laws and we must all abide by it,” the president said.
Adventist Today has gathered information about what is happening across Kenya and the reality is seen in significant tribal-political tension and misunderstanding. Kikuyu people swear they will not allow a Luo to govern because they call the Luo “uncircumsized.” Many Luo hate a the Kikuyu and support intimidation against them. Other tribes are lining up with these two largest tribes and conflicts result.
The Adventist Today reporter has witnessed a lot of chaos in Nairobi. On the road from Nairobi to Sirari (at the border with Tanzania), especially in Migori County, there were roadblocks. And AT was told things were worse in other counties as NASA supporters battle with police.
Amnesty International has condemned what Kenya police are doing to the citizens involved in civil protests. The organization has urged them to stop and bring things to negotiations.
Adventist Today asks readers to pray for the situation in Kenya. Share our reports to inform the world as we provide the concerns in good faith.