20 September 2017

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

Photo: IEBC Facebook
(file photo).

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.

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