A candidate shall be declared elected as President if the candidate receives—
more than half of all the votes cast in the election; and
at least twenty-five per cent of the votes cast in each of more than half of the counties.
(10) Within seven days after the presidential election, the chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall—
declare the result of the election; and
deliver a written notification of the result to the Chief Justice and the incumbent President” (Kenya Constitution, 2010 – Article 138(4)+(10)).
You better hold your popcorn. We know there will be litigation and this only the first address until the petition is launched. The 9th August 2022 Presidential Election was bound to go this way. Everyone who has followed Raila Odinga’s career. Knows that he cannot accept a loss or take it on the chin. He has to challenge it and go to the Supreme Court. That was bound to happen and it’s eventually happening. I am looking forward to read the paperwork actually, because the 2017 petition was such a masterpiece. Therefore, I wonder James Orengo and his team is up to now.
However, that will be for a later date to discuss. Right now we have only his statement and the words of which he describes yesterday. The day when his team ditched the Bomas and the Declaration of the Presidential Elections of 2022. That’s why his choices of words will be interesting. I will first show a quote from Odinga and then discuss it.
“On August 9, 2022, millions of Kenyans turned out in large numbers in an attempt to choose their leaders at the national, county, and local levels after long and generally peaceful campaigns. But yesterday August 15, our budding democracy suffered a major setback. As a result, Kenya faces a grave legal and political crisis as a result of the actions of Mr. Wafula Chebukati, the Chairperson of the IEBC” (Odinga, 16.08.2022).
After reading ELOG and other Election Observation Missions Preliminary Statements it is really unique seeing this sort of assessment. It is a crisis for him personally and a loss. Yes, the IEBC did declare someone else than him. Just like the previous elections with Odinga too. He is now putting himself in place of the Republic and actually creating the crisis by not acknowledging the result. However, saying it was a major set-back and crisis is all on him, and his allies. Who are all working to undermine and pin the authorities. Who until the moment of deliberations and declarations was prepared to do their process. Certainly, there is more to this and this isn’t the first time Odinga is making Chebukati a scape-goat. He did in 2017 together with Ezra Chiloba as well. So, we have seen this game plan before…
“The Constitution and our laws are clear about how the IEBC should conduct its business. There is no more important role for the IEBC than the conduct, transmission, and tallying of the presidential election. We are painfully aware of past political biases by the IEBC that plunged this country into its darkest chapter. The terrible memories of the aftermath of the 2007 elections are still fresh in our minds. In 2017, the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified the presidential election again because of the misconduct of the IEBC. What we saw yesterday was a travesty and a blatant disregard of the Constitution and the laws of Kenya by Mr. Chebukati and a minority of IEBC Commissioners” (Odinga, 16.08.2022).
It is striking that you speak of law and Constitution, but will disregard one part of it. Which is in the right of Chebukati as long as he is the appointed Chairman of IEBC. That he calls this the darkest chapter. Is yet again making himself the victim and the sole custodian of the Republic. Because, he was bound for this and this was final chance of reaching the Presidency. That’s why he goes into history and uses it to trigger people’s emotions. He can call it a travesty, because he wasn’t declared, but he didn’t respect the Declaration or the ceremony. The Presidential Candidate didn’t attend or care to do so. This shows that he already had contempt and was displeased with all in advance. If he was sure of the result and knew he would win. We know Odinga would have shown up. The Chairman would have notified him too. However, that didn’t happen and that’s why he avoided it. Really weird that he says Chebukati didn’t follow the Constitution… when that’s actually what he did accordingly to the Article 138(10). So, I don’t know what Constitution Odinga is referring too.
He continues: “The law is clear on the role of the Chairperson of the IEBC. The law does not vest in the Chairperson the powers of a dictator to rule the IEBC unilaterally. The IEBC is structured as a democratic institution in which decisions must be taken either by consensus or by a vote of the majority. The Chairperson and a tiny minority of commissioners have no legal authority to take weighty decisions and proclaim them as the rulings of the IEBC. The law on the IEBC provides that UNLESS A UNANIMOUS DECISION IS REACHED, A DECISION ON ANY MATTER BEFORE THE COMMISSION SHALL BE BY A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS PRESENT AND VOTING. In addition, the court of appeal in the Maina Kiai case, ruled WE ITERATE AS WE CONCLUDE THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT FROM THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE LAWS WE HAVE CONSIDERED THAT THE PEOPLE OF KENYA DID NOT INTEND TO VEST OR CONCENTRATE SUCH SWEEPING AND BOUNDLESS POWERS IN ONE INDIVIDUAL, THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE APPELLANT” (Odinga, 16.08.2022).
The Chairman of the IEBC did follow the Constitution on the matter. That we can resolve. There is no distinction there. What is striking is that 4 Commissioners who went off broke their partisan pledge and wasn’t professional in their work. They can easily be seen as a violation of the Fourth Schedule in the IEBC Act of 2011. That’s why Odinga is speaking of the Business of IEBC, but not according to the Constitution and how it says the Declaration of the Presidential Elections. When you want to be pedantic, you better use more ammunition. The 4 Commissioners can easily be questioned, if their previous offices and political affiliations resorted into this. These was sworn into Office in September 2021 ahead of the polls. These was a part of BBI and approved by the Authorities in the run-up to the elections. So, people even was prepared for their outbursts and their publicity stunt. Which can be seen as a breach of the IEBC act in itself… I don’t Odinga is considering this at all…
He further states: “That is why I, AZIMIO and the nation at large, were shocked yesterday to learn that Mr. Chebukati ALONE decided to pronounce himself on the supposed winner of the 2022 presidential elections. We understand that ONLY Mr. Chebukati ALONE had access to the tally of the presidential vote. He denied all the commissioners access to that information until he suddenly appeared before the commissioners in the late afternoon to present them with a fait accompli” (Odinga, 16.08.2022).
Here he puts himself in front of the Republic, yet again. While he pins all blame on Chebukati who only did his function and role as the Chairman of the IEBC. Where his claiming all of this. I look forward to more of the intrigue behind closed doors, because this is just distorting the process and putting everything on the Chairman. As we know the 4 Commissioners was appointed in sole regard to help the cause of Azimio and that’s obvious by their actions thereafter.
He further says: “I understand that the commission had previously agreed on the tally of the Presidential results. But barely two hours before his announcement, Mr. Chebukati called a meeting of the IEBC and revealed to them the different results he was going to announce. FOUR of the SEVEN protested Mr. Chebukati s actions. But Mr. Chebukati whose mind appeared made up did not entertain any discussion of the results, precipitating a walkout by a majority of the commissioners who promptly denounced the results at a press conference. We know what happened next. A majority of the commissioners walked out and held a press conference where they denounced the results. Our view in Azimio is clear. The figures announced by Mr. Chebukati are null and void and must be quashed by a court of law. In our view, there is neither a legally and validly declared winner nor a President-Elect. Mr. Chebukati’s announcement purporting to announce a winner is a NULLITY. He acted with gross impunity and in total disregard of the Constitution and our laws. He could have plunged our country into chaos had our supporters not exercised great restraint. Such blatant acts of impunity can be a threat to the security of our country. It is not up to us to decide whether Mr. Chebukati has committed an offense. We leave that determination to the appropriate authorities. For the avoidance of doubt, I want to repeat that we totally and without reservations reject the presidential results announced yesterday by Mr. Chebukati” (Odinga, 16.08.2022).
Here Odinga further tries to explain the actions of yesterday. It can also be seen as a Partisan Commissioners didn’t do their function and dipped out when their candidate didn’t get their way. They didn’t fulfil their duty and this is why they created such a havoc. The man who didn’t show up and the Azimio team created also lots of chaos at Bomas, as the Choir was singing. The people awaited and the Commissioners created this uncertainty. Certainly, the Chairman could easily come out and explain what went down. His surely planing to do so in the Courts. While this is more looking like a planned affair and the 4 Commissioners did what they could according to plan. It is striking that he calls it IMPUNITY and a THREAT. When his sort of rhetoric and usage of words now is more endangering. He is sowing distrust and clear vision of distorting the process. As he has the verdict and the results in his mind. Results that wasn’t declared and this why he has to prove it in the Courts now.
He ends with: “Today I do not want to fully address our strategies going forward but suffice it to note that we will be pursuing ALL CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL OPTIONS available to us. We will do so because we regard the many flaws in the elections and the wrongs committed by IEBC as FATAL to the process and the outcome announced by Mr. Chebukati. We urge Kenyans and the friends and partners of Kenya abroad to stand tall and be counted as we seek to advance the ideals of democracy and an open society that we have always stood for. We will pursue justice for our supporters and for all Kenyans so that their choices are respected and honored. MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS KENYA” (Odinga, 16.08.2022).
As I said, this was bound to happen and we all knew that from the no-show at Bomas yesterday. We knew when Odinga didn’t show up to dance or to entertain. He would rather build a case and ensure it by any means. That’s what is up now and its obvious for us all. This is going to the Supreme Court and the Apex ones to be contested. The IEBC can use the Constitution as well, as there are stipulations in the 2010 Constitution, which is clear and the Chairman didn’t violate them. Therefore, the technicalities got to be important and prove the rigging in such a manner, which is justification of a “nullification” of the election. That’s what is the game-plan and no one should be shocked by that.
Odinga is continuing where he left off in 2017. However, the IEBC has been transparent and that gives the IEBC an edge this time. Yes, there been technical issues and reasons to question to the actions of the IEBC. Nevertheless, the enhancement of the process and the elections makes it harder to justify.
In 2017 I was openly behind Odinga’s nullification of the first Presidential Elections. This time around there is more given to the professionalism of the IEBC. That’s why it seems like a fishing expedition, unless the Azimio legal team has more ammunition. There is a need of evidence and proof, as the tally centre and everything was on the up-and-up. Odinga wouldn’t have claimed this if he won. That’s just a given… and we all know that deep in our hearts. If the 4 Commissioners voted in favour of him and ensured him a final victory. He wouldn’t have uttered a word or called a dark chapter, a crisis or illegal act.
No, he would have bashed in glory and singed psalms of Canaan. Peace.