The Supreme Court of Kenya, has dismissed the petition E005/2022 filed by the Azimio La Umoja one Kenya political coalition, Raila Amolo Odinga, and upheld the election of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto as the country’s 5th President.
Raila and others had petitioned the Supreme Court of Kenya to nullify the election which they referred to as irretrievably and irredeemably flawed. The petitioners further argued that everything that could go wrong in an election, went wrong. The dismissal was a result of a unanimous decision by all the seven judges on the bench and was premised on grounds that the petitioners provided no credible evidence to support their allegations.
In their wisdom, the judges did not award any costs, rather they argued that since the petitioners did so in public interest, each party should meet its own costs of the suit. This is laudable because it encourages aggrieved parties to always see legal redress in Courts of Law without the fear of legal costs awarded.
By upholding the election of William Ruto, the Judges of the Supreme Court have saved the Kenyan taxpayer KSH 30 billion ($252 million), which was the cost of conducting the elections.
This amount includes the cost of validating the voters’ register, procuring the requisite ICT including the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kit Smart Matic – a Venezuela company, printing of ballot papers from Greece, training and facilitating the personnel that administered the presidential election and other logistical issues related to the election.
Secrets Known remembers the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission informing observers that the Presidential Election ballot paper contained more security features than the country’s biggest bank note.
On August 9, 2022, Kenya went through a costly Presidential election whose campaign process has been described as highly monetised and commercialised. The two front-running political coalitions namely Azimio La Umoja one Kenya and Kenya Kwanza, spent massively on campaign publicity, campaign administration, and campaign management.
Several political candidates procured or hired helicopters and high-end motor vehicles in preparation for the do-or-die political contests. Reports indicated that over 100 helicopters were in use on the campaign trail, and majority of these have been imported from South Africa. The chopper is hired at $2,500 per hour or purchased at $2.5 million.
It is estimated that the candidates who contested for Governor and did not use helicopters during their campaigns, spent a minimum of KSH 70 million ($ 0.58 million) while Members of Parliament spent a minimum of KSH 50 million ($0.42 million). However, there were candidates who went through having spent much less than this, but these were very isolated cases.
Kenyan legislators must allow the Election Campaign Financing Act 2013 and attendant regulations to be used to tame the monster of commercialised and monetised elective politics.