Posts tagged as: kenyatta

Major Hurdles Ahead of Election Rerun

Doubts are growing over Kenya’s ability to hold a rerun of its presidential election in just one month as key players remain unable to agree on how to conduct a credible vote.

Legalbrief reports that there have been several significant developments over the past week which indicate that the chasm between all the key role players is widening.

Riots last week broke out in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu city after a rumour spread about alleged efforts to rig the election. Several people were injured as police clashed with youths who blocked roads in the south-western city and threw stones.

In another significant development, opposition MPs boycotted the opening of Parliament to protest against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to address it after a court annulled his election win.

BBC News reports that they say it should not have been convened until after the election rerun slated for 17 October.

Kenyatta, however, said he still had the power to convene Parliament. ‘The set term of a President is embedded until a new one is sworn in as per the constitution,’ he told lawmakers. ‘I want to assure every Kenyan and the world that every arm of government is in place and operational,’ he added. Full BBC News report

Analysts say bickering on all sides and confusion over the process have only increased as the clock ticks down to the fresh vote which was called after the Supreme Court annulled the initial election.

A report on the News24 site notes that the opposition has vowed to boycott the election if its list of demands is not met, including staff changes at the electoral commission (IEBC), which it accuses of rigging the poll.

‘ The challenges are pretty extraordinary,’ said John Githongo, a prominent anti-corruption campaigner in Kenya.

A key hurdle is that the Supreme Court has yet to deliver its full judgment detailing why exactly it decided to annul Kenyatta’s victory. Chief Justice David Maraga mentioned only ‘irregularities and illegalities’, notably in the transmission of election results.

The court has until Friday to deliver the full ruling, which would give the IEBC little time to make any necessary changes. ‘It is very uncertain,’ said Nic Cheeseman, a professor of African politics at the University of Birmingham in England. Full report on the News24 site

An audit of the electronic system used to tally votes in the cancelled poll showed no manipulation of data, the French biometrics firm that supplied the system has confirmed.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has accused the company, OT-Morpho, of being complicit in alleged rigging of the election.

OT-Morpho said an ‘in-depth audit’ of the system showed the opposition’s claims about hacking were untrue. The Nation reports that COO Frederic Beylier said the audit, undertaken with help from external experts from security software companies, had shown the system ‘in no way suffered manipulation of data, attacks, attempts to penetrate the system or anything of that kind’.

OT-Morpho supplied the 45 000 tablets used to identify voters biometrically and an associated system used to transmit the results of votes counted by electoral officials as well as a photograph of the paper form 34A on which votes were tallied. Full report in The Nation

Kenya’s electoral body must be transformed before the election rerun as its credibility to hold a free and fair vote ‘is seriously questionable’.

That’s the view of political analyst Benji Ndolo who told News24 that the IEBC must be ‘sincerely reformed’ before the election rerun to avoid a serious ‘negative impact on the east African country’s economy’. Ndolo said that there were a lot of issues at stake if the election rerun was again disputed.

‘ Heads must roll. The institution has to be outside of the influence of any outside players. This is why the opposition has moved to have the chairperson moved and held accountable,’ Ndolo is quoted in the report as saying. Full report on the News24 site

Meanwhile, Jubilee MPs and senators are planning to trim the powers of the judiciary following the Supreme Court’s ruling which annulled Kenyatta’s poll win.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen confirmed that they will enact laws which will deny the Supreme Court powers to overturn presidential election verdicts.

‘ We shall pass laws to protect the decision of the voter to stop some institutions from making decisions that annul the decision of a voter,’ he said. A report on the allAfrica site notes that the senator said the purpose of the law will be to protect the right of citizens where their sovereign right is robbed through ‘legal technicalities’. The law will clarify the foundations of our democracy because the decision of the Supreme Court is unacceptable,’ Murkomen added, according to the report.

Kenyatta says his criticism of the Chief Justice should not be viewed as an attack on Maraga’s Kisii community.

The Standard reports that he was addressing a delegation of more than 15 000 members of the Abagusii community at State House. Kenyatta said the Supreme Court decision to nullify his presidential election win was the most painful moment of his life.

He said his attack on Maraga and the three judges was justified because he believed the highest court in the land had erred in its ruling. Odinga claimed that the criticism of Maraga – who was part of the panel that nullified the election result – was an attack on his community. Full report in The Standard

Kenya: IEBC Directed to Deploy Alternative on Oct 17 in Case Technology Fails

Photo: IEBC Facebook

(file photo).

By Olive Burrows

Nairobi — The Supreme Court has directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to put in place a complementary system for the fresh October 17 presidential poll, in compliance with Section 44A of the Elections Act.

Chief Justice David Maraga said the court could not simply overlook the negation of guidelines on the use of technology in the transmission of results saying the electronic transmission was the bedrock upon which the new election laws passed by the bi-cameral Parliament were anchored.

In its ruling on Wednesday, the court also found that no reasonable explanation was given as to why not all Forms 34B did not possess security features.

Maraga for instance pointed out that the requirement for accountability and transparency was therefore in doubt as no plausible explanation was given for discrepancies in the forms.

“It was obvious to us that IEBC misunderstood the petition and therefore jumbled its responses… IEBC should do some soul searching and go back to the drawing board,” Maraga stated.

“As judges, we have taken an oath of fidelity to the Constitution. For what is the need of having a Constitution if it is not respected?” Maraga wondered.

The court however found no evidence that President Uhuru Kenyatta used the release of funds to IDPs as a campaign tool to entice voters.

Maraga noted while reading the detailed ruling of the September 1 decision of the apex court nullifying the re-election of President Kenyatta that the Supreme Court is among institutions the sovereign power of the Kenyan people has been vested by the Constitution.

Maraga refuted claims that the Supreme Court discredited the sovereign decision of the voters in the August 8 presidential election by annulling the election based on technology malfunction.

Ahead of the commencement of the court session, Maraga explained that Justice Smokin Wanjala, with whom he, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola made the majority ruling voiding President Kenyatta’s re-election, had travelled out of the country, hence his absence in the courtroom.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Multinational Weather Firm Opens Africa Office in Nairobi

By Margaret Njugunah

Nairobi — Environmental and industrial measurement international company Vaisala has opened an office in Nairobi, its first in the continent.

Company CEO Kjell Forsen says the decision has been backed by a demand for improved weather observation and weather infrastructure in the country’s agriculture and civil aviation sectors.

On its decision to settle in Kenya, Forsen says the country’s competitive meteorological department and its connectivity to the rest of the region are part of the reason.

“The ongoing climate change in the region has also created an opportunity for us as it is driving demand for stronger weather data,” Forsen told a press briefing Wednesday.

Currently, Vaisala has over 30 offices in 16 countries, and supplies to 150 countries.

Available weather measurements equipment in Kenya have mainly been first generation equipment, which is outdated and in need of improvement.

The Finish company has in the past provided weather observation equipment to Joao Kenyatta International Airport, Kisumu and Eldoret Airport.

With the entry into the country, the company shall provide to these airports and the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

“With this new office, we shall offer expanded environment and weather services, including air quality measurement instruments and services.”

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Coast Jubilee Leaders Dismiss Claims of Division in the Party

By Wachira Mwangi

Jubilee Party leaders in Mombasa County have dismissed claims of divisions within the party in their quest for votes ahead of the October 17 elections.

Led by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Suleiman Shahbal, the leaders said they were working together to ensure that Mombasa County and the coast as a whole gets more votes for President Kenyatta.

“I have a job to do, and that is to ensure that President Kenyatta manages to win votes in the Coast Region,: the CS said adding that he had met with other leaders and discussed how they would work as a team in the grassroots.

“We have one team, one purpose which is Uhuru Kenyatta and one strategy.” Mr Balala said.

MORE VOTES

He noted that the grassroots structure will start from the constituencies, to the ward level and to the polling centres and stations.

Mr Balala added: “We as Mombasa leaders have only one target as we head to the October 17 elections and it is to elect President Kenyatta. We want to ensure that this time round we get more votes than what we had on August 8.”

His sentiments were shared by Mr Shahbal who said their purpose as leaders was to maximise on the number of votes that President Kenyatta got.

The businessman also reiterated calls on strategising their campaigns from the grassroots to the top.

BOOING

He called on all the aspirants to get to the constituents from the ground going up. “We want every aspirant to get to their polling stations and ensure that they increase the votes.”

Mr Shahbal downplayed the booing by some of the Jubilee supporters at Wild Waters while with Deputy President William Ruto saying his case was not unique.

“This is not the first time that a politician has been booed in public. It has happened to many, but it is not the way to address issues. I have forgiven them and we are moving on”.

He continued: Our objective is simple, we are uniting all our troop for one common agenda.”

Mr Balala also condemned the incident at Wild Waters saying “Leadership and politics is not booing, it is respect and decorum.”

UNITED

The CS also urged the party to take action against the perpetrators and at the same time asked the Jubilee coast fraternity to be united adding that for those who support development and progress, “the path is with Uhuru Kenyatta and nobody else.”

The CS defended his role in supporting the president saying nobody could stop “me from getting votes for my president.:

As a Cabinet Secretary appointed by President Kenyatta, Mr Balala said he was delivering a political manifesto by Jubilee and as such, he had an obligation to ensure Mr Kenyatta is re-elected so as to “progress with plans of transforming the lives of our people.”

Mombasa County Jubilee aspirants Ms Amina Abdalla, Mr Omar Shallo, Mr Runya Lewa, Mr Abdi Daib and Mr Ashraf Bayusuf were in attendance.

The leaders called on those purporting to be supporting the president to join them in making the structures that will help the party secure more votes and stop the apparent divisions.

Kenyatta Insists Fresh Polls Must Be Held in 60 Days

Photo: The East African

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday said he expects the fresh election to be held within the 60-day period set out in the Constitution after the Supreme Court annulled the August 8 presidential poll.

The President also said he expects the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to conduct the poll.

He said no one had the right to impose conditions on the commission before the repeat election, and that threats by the opposition amounted to bullying, intimidation, and rogue politics, which were futile.

President Kenyatta spoke when he received 8,000 delegates from Narok County during an event in which former gubernatorial candidate Patrick ole Ntutu and 10 MCAs pledged full support for his re-election campaign.

UNLAWFUL

“The election must be done within 60 days (of the Supreme Court decision) and two, the election must be conducted by IEBC as required by the Constitution,” said President Kenyatta who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto and Narok Governor Samuel ole Tunai.

Mr Ruto said no one had the authority to interfere with the right of Kenyans to exercise their democratic will. “Our competitors should stop telling us that there will be no election. Who else has powers and authority to tell Kenyans that they cannot exercise their constitutional right?” asked the Deputy President. “We must all follow the law.”

He added: “The opposition used unconstitutional means to remove Samuel Kivuitu from office, a similar method was used to remove Issack Hassan from office and now they want to use unconstitutional means to remove the IEBC secretariat. This will not be allowed.”

The Deputy President said Jubilee accepted the Supreme Court ruling so as to abide by the rule of law but that should not be misconstrued to mean that the party is weak.

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Kenyan Judiciary On the Defence

By Charles Omondi

Kenya’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has defended itself against sustained attacks by the political leaders and their supporters.

Addressing a live television press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, Chief Justice and JSC President David Maraga said members of his team were ready to pay the ultimate price in the defence of the rule of law.

Judge Maraga re-affirmed the independence of the Judiciary and the commitment of the members to the execution of their mandate.

Act on threats

He expressed dismay that the Inspector General of Police, Mr Joseph Boinet, had failed to act on threats to the lives of the judicial officers.

The Judiciary has come under sustained attacks by the ruling Jubilee coalition leaders and their supporters since the annulment of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August 8 re-election.

Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of Jubilee supporters held demonstrations outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi, accusing the country’s top court of “stealing their victory”.

Paralysed transport

Waving placards, the demonstrators, mostly youth, accused the judges of rendering an illegal judgment.

Other demonstrations were also held in the Jubilee in central Kenya and the Rift Valley, the respective homes of President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

The demonstrators paralysed transport on sections of Kenya’s main artery from Nairobi and the border with Uganda.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

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Election Re-Run in Doubt Amid Technology Issues and High Court Hearings

By Ineke Mules

Kenya’s electoral commission is struggling to upgrade voter technology in time, while minority candidate Ekuru Aukos says he also wants to be included in the poll.

Insiders at Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) say there is a possibility that the country’s presidential election do-over could be moved from October 17 to either the 26th or 27th, owing to issues with voting technology.

French-supplied voting software known as the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) needs to be reconfigured before voting takes place. It is expected to be used in more than 250 parliamentary, senatorial and gubernatorial petitions filed in numerous Kenyan courts by losing candidates who wish to challenge the election’s victor.

Workers at IEBC point out that the 41,883 polling stations throughout Kenya will require at least 42,000 reconfigured kits. In addition to this, there will likely be a need for extra standby kits in case technical issues occur.

French company OT-Morpho, which has been contracted to supply the electronic voting kits, has already indicated that it needs more time.

Minority candidate seeks to be included

Kenya’s Supreme Court has meanwhile set a hearing date for September 21 to determine whether losing candidate Ekuru Aukot can also be included in the repeat election.

Aukot was one of six presidential candidates who received a minority of the vote in the August 8 election, in contrast to frontrunners Uhura Kenyatta and Raila Odinga who secured 54 percent and 45 percent respectively and are the only two candidates expected to run in the fresh presidential election.

Aukot contends that IEBC has no legal right to limit the number of candidates who can take part. He argues that a failure to include him in the election violates both his rights and the rights of his supporters.

President Kenyatta has already opposed the inclusion of Aukot in the repeat election, arguing that the race should remain between himself and Odinga. However Odinga has demanded that any number of candidates should be allowed to contest the ballot.

“This is not a run-off: This is a repeat of a presidential election so any other candidate is fit to run,” Odinga told reporters in Nairobi last week.

Supreme Court to issue ruling over hacking claims

September 20 looks set to be another important day in the Kenyan judicial and political calendar, with the Supreme Court set to deliver a full verdict – likely to run into the hundreds of pages – in response to a petition filed by veteran opposition leader Odinga.

Odinga claims the electoral commission’s computers were hacked to generate a victory for Kenyatta.

The IEBC is eagerly awaiting the verdict in order to ascertain what went wrong on polling day. According to legal analysts, if the verdict finds that serious election offences were committed by the electoral commission, the officials responsible will be investigated with a view to facing possible prosecution.

James Shimanyula in Nairobi contributed to this report.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Kenya’s Struggle to Execute a Peaceful Vote

opinion

With less than five weeks to go before Kenyans return to the ballot box, perceptions that the forthcoming vote will be free, fair and inclusive – and yield an outcome respected as such – appear to be dwindling. By RYAN CUMMINGS.

Calls by the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, to remove and prosecute the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) team responsible for organising the 8 August general elections – which was rendered constitutionally flawed in a 1 September Supreme Court ruling – have not been heeded. Although IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, selected a new seven-member team to coordinate the electoral re-run, the committee’s planning would still be overseen by IEBC CEO, Ezra Chiloba, who Odinga has directly charged with rigging the vote in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s favour. A failure to remove Chiloba from his post and have him prosecuted for his alleged malfeasance has seen Odinga and his National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition threaten to enforce the cancellation of the forthcoming election.

Odinga’s threats in this regard have been dismissed by Kenyatta and the ruling Jubilee Coalition who inferred that the elections will proceed on 17 October whether or not Nasa chooses to contest the ballot. The statement was one of…

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Team of 100 to Spearhead Kenyatta Re-Election Bid

By Grace Gitau

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday constituted a team of 100 politicians from the Mt Kenya region to spearhead his re-election.

But his appeal to winners in the August 8 election to work with losers has sparked disquiet among elected leaders.

A Laikipia MP said forcing the two factions to work together will jeopardise the campaigns.

CAMPAIGNS

In the meeting at the Sagana State Lodge, it was resolved that MPs will concentrate on leading campaigns in their regions assisted by MCAs.

“The campaigns will be constituency based. I will be in charge of the campaigns in my area,” Kieni MP Kanini Kega said.

The governors will co-ordinate with senators and woman representatives to campaign for the president in their respective counties, it was also agreed.

COMMITTEE

In attendance were leaders from the counties of Nakuru, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Nyeri, Murang’a, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Laikipia and Nyandarua.

After the President’s address, leaders from each county went into separate meetings and later regrouped, with each county coming up with a 10-member committee to oversee campaigns in their regions.

“I do not want to be the one to decide who will lead the campaigns in your regions. You know each other so pick among yourselves those who will seat in that committee,” Mr Kenyatta had said.

KARUA

But Narc Kenya Leader Martha Karua and former Kirinyaga Governor Joseph Ndathi walked out of the meeting and did not take part in the teams’ formation.

The two lost to former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.

Others who did not succeed in their elections bid, who attended the meeting include former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, former Meru Governor Peter Munya and former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru.

INCLUSIVITY

The President told governors, who will be the team leaders, to hit the ground running and ensure that every voter in their county participates in the October 17 election.

The teams, he said, must be all inclusive incorporating the youth, the disabled, women and losers.

To election losers, the Head of State appealed to them to support his campaigns, noting that there are many positions in the national and county governments.

“There is no need of bitterness or animosity, let us move forward. Do not be like Raila Odinga who takes us back to campaigns and derails development,” he said.

Infighting Threatens Uhuru Kenyatta’s Ukambani Vote Hunt

By Kitavi Mutua and Justus Wanga

Political infighting among Jubilee leaders in Ukambani is threatening to derail President Uhuru Kenyatta’s campaigns for the October 17 repeat election.

Three factions have emerged among the President’s campaigners, all seeking to have a bigger say in Jubilee Party affairs, including State appointments in case Mr Kenyatta wins a second term.

The differences played out openly on Monday, when the President and his deputy William Ruto hosted a delegation of grassroots leaders from Ukambani at State House Nairobi. The event exposed deep-seated suspicions and backstabbing fuelling the intense supremacy wars.

One camp that seems to find favour with the President has three Kamba MPs who were elected on Jubilee Party tickets — Mr Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Ms Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South) and Mr Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East) — and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

The group also includes tycoon Peter Muthoka, powerful Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma, Kenya’s envoy to Turkey Kiema Kilonzo and Sports Kenya chairman Fred Muteti. Mr Muteti was also the secretary-general of Mr Ruto’s United Republican Party, now defunct.

CIVIL SERVANTS

The second group consists of Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopha Mailu, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and a host of senior civil servants.

The third group coalesces around Jubilee parliamentary candidates who lost last month’s elections. It is led by former Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu.

With barely one month to the high-stakes repeat presidential election, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are said to be unhappy with the infighting and vicious supremacy wars that are likely to rock the Jubilee boat from within.

The group led by Mr Muthoka and Dr Juma maintains that it delivered the three parliamentary seats and 170,000 votes the President got from Ukambani and wants to be seen as an asset compared to the “bunch of losers”.

This group has added to its ranks former Wiper party chairman and ex-Kitui Senator David Musila and a host of Kamba politicians from other parties.

At the same time, Mr Mutambu and former MPs Kisoi Munyao, Katemi Makenga and Regina Ndambuki have positioned themselves to reap from their closeness with Mr Kenyatta and blaming the Muthoka group of messing up the Jubilee campaigns in the region.

NON-POLITICIANS

In an apparent reference to Mr Muthoka and Ms Juma, Mr Mutambu said non-politicians should not be generals in a political war because they may not understand the local dynamics.

“Businessmen and civil servants are the best in mobilising resources and data but not the actual campaigns. Those who have run for political office should be tasked with leading Jubilee’s hunt for votes,” said Mr Mutambu.

However, Mr Muthoka, said he was approached by the same leaders way before the August elections to help coordinate various campaign teams, especially in resource mobilisation and reaching out to key groups such as the clergy and clan elders.|

“I have stuck my neck out for the President in this campaign not for purposes of seeking cheap publicity but to build a strong united voice for the Kamba. Actually, they are the ones who came looking for me” he said.

He said the infighting was painting the Kamba in bad light and defeating the broader agenda of rallying the community behind Mr Kenyatta’s quest for a second term

During the State House visit, the political differences were manifest when Dr Mailu was not given a chance to address the gathering despite being the most senior Kamba son in government.

It is not clear yet why ambassador Kilonzo, who was the master of ceremony, overlooked the Health CS right before the President. Sources told the Sunday Nation that the group is accusing Dr Mailu of concentrating more on ministry work than helping in the campaigns.

TRUSTED LIEUTENANTS

The CS, one the President’s trusted lieutenants in Ukambani, who was fished out of the corporate world where he was the chief executive of Nairobi Hospital, is finding himself in the crossfire of local politics, with his antagonists said to be eyeing his Cabinet job.

However, former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki said it was wrong to bypass the CS but downplayed the political differences. He said every leader, including businessmen and those who lost in the elections, has a crucial role to play and there is no time for squabbling.

“CS Mailu and all of us are committed to the Jubilee cause. No one anticipated that there will be a repeat election and the small teething issues have been sorted out and we’re ready to hit the ground running,” said Prof Kaloki.

On the face of it, the bone of contention among the rival factions is the alleged confusion caused by parallel political campaigns in the August elections, where party agents were mismanaged and left unpaid.

However, beneath the political wrangling that saw President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto step in to close the rift are other underlying factors, including competition for access to the President and control of Jubilee campaign resources.

Dr Isaac Kalua, one of the leading Jubilee mobilisers in Kitui, said there is urgent need to stop the negative energy that could cost the President votes at a time there is growing goodwill for Mr Kenyatta.

“No family has ever grown stronger by fighting itself. We must put our act together and give the President a resounding victory,” he said.

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