Civil society groups call for fairness in poll case

Civil society groups have called on the Supreme Court to ensure its verdict in the petition against the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta is fair.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog) and the Katiba Institute said some of the preliminary rulings delivered in the 2013 petition by the Supreme Court, then under the leadership of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, may have compromised the final decision.

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According to KHRC executive director George Kegoro, the Jubilee lawyers were left to run the show, and not the court.

“Everything the Jubilee lawyers wanted or rejected was granted 100 per cent by the Supreme Court.

“That should give you a sense of how that court applied power. The court failed to protect us from bullying by the Jubilee lawyers,” Mr Kegoro told a stakeholders’ meeting at a city hotel Monday.


He said, for instance, the Law Society of Kenya and the Katiba Institute had applied to be part of the proceedings but Jubilee and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission lawyers opposed this and the court locked them out.

“But Attorney-General Githu Muigai’s application as amicus curiae (friend of the court) was granted,” Mr Kegoro said.

“We are in such a moment. We hope the court will have the courage to control its own proceedings and not the lawyers.”

Mr Kegoro, Mr Njonjo Mue of KHRC, Africog executive director Gladwell Otieno, Mr Wachira Wanyoike of the Katiba Institute and constitutional lawyer Wachira Maina said the court should avoid such rulings.

“The court should depart from its precedent in 2013. If an election is conducted badly, then that election is invalid,” Mr Maina said.

Ms Otieno said her organisation will apply to be part of the petition.

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She dismissed claims that they had been intimidated by the recent bid by Kenya Revenue Authority officials and the police to raid Africog offices in Nairobi.

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