Supreme Court in the spotlight as 3 seek to stop poll

Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Focus once again turns to the Supreme Court Wednesday morning after three rights activists filed a case seeking to stop the repeat presidential poll, hours to the election.

The case was certified as urgent by Chief Justice David Maraga who directed the three applicants — Mr Khalef Khalifa, Mr Samuel Mohochi and Mr Gacheke Gachuhi — to file the submissions by 6pm Tuesday.

The CJ also directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its chairman Wafula Chebukati, to file their response and submissions by 8am, Wednesday morning.

The move comes as the High Court dismissed a case by activist Okiya Omtatah, who had asked the court to temporarily bar the IEBC from going ahead with the poll. Mr Omtatah also pressed for the formation of a caretaker government for 60 days.

The High Court also dismissed a case by Pokot South MP David Pkosing who wanted the National Super Alliance (Nasa) candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka compelled to participate in the repeat poll.

A ruling on another case filed by former MP Harun Mwau, who also wants to stop the poll, will be made on Wednesday.

At the Supreme Court, the three activists argue that the prevailing environment in the country cannot guarantee a credible poll.

They allege that there exists active sabotage and frustrations of the fresh election, dealing a blow to IEBC’s ability and capacity to conduct a free, fair and credible election.

Further, the three through their lawyers John Khaminwa and Harun Ndubi argue that IEBC commissioners are deeply divided and cannot guarantee a fair and credible poll.

Commissioner Roselyn Akombe resigned and fled to the USA after claiming that the repeat election cannot meet the “basic expectations of credibility and fairness”. She said the commission in its current state cannot guarantee a credible election and she didn’t want to be party to such “a mockery to electoral integrity”.

They have quoted a memo from Dr Akombe to the effect there has been a reversal of critical decisions in secrecy by four unnamed commissioners further hampering preparations.

They also argue that the commission is facing the risk of disenfranchising more than six million voters of a leading candidate who has withdrawn from the race.

Other than a divided commission, the trio argue employees are polarised after continued political interference, intimidation, threats and pressure from politicians and protesters.