Nairobi – It has emerged that a top government official of the incumbent Kenyan administration have issued a threat to the lives of Supreme Court Judges who voted for the annulment of last months disputed presidential elections.
He is reported to have sent text messages to the 4 Judges that their lives are not in their hands anymore, according to our reporter who sighted the text message.
Kenya’s Supreme Court has invalidated the result of last month’s contentious presidential election and ordered a new vote, after a legal challenge by the opposition.
Four out of six judges upheld a petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who claimed the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta was fraudulent.
“The presidential election was not conducted in accordance with the constitution, rendering the declared results invalid null and void,” Chief Justice David Maraga said, ordering fresh elections within 60 days.
Kenya’s opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga (C) reacts to the Supreme Court ruling in Nairobi on Friday.
In a decision that surprised many observers, the court agreed with opposition arguments that the electoral commission had committed irregularities that invalidated the poll. It also raised questions for international monitors, who had declared the election fair.
Odinga was jubilant as he welcomed what he called a “precedent-setting ruling” by the court.
“For the first time in the history of African democratization, a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the election of a president,” he said. “This indeed is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa.”
In a televised address to the nation, Kenyatta said he disagreed with the court’s ruling but would respect it.
“I disagree with it because as I’ve said, millions of Kenyans queued, made their choice, and six people have decided that they will go against the will of the people,” he said.
Kenyatta said his primary message was for all Kenyans to keep the peace. “Your neighbor will still be your neighbor regardless of whatever has happened,” he said. “Regardless of their political affiliation, regardless of their religion, regardless of their color, regardless of their tribe.”
As news of the court’s decision spread, cheers and celebrations could be heard on the streets in parts of the capital, Nairobi.
But it’s not yet clear if the ruling will spark public protests.
Although Kenya’s 2013 election was mainly peaceful, the country plunged into widespread violence in the aftermath of the 2007 vote. More than 1,000 people were killed in months of bloodshed after Odinga — defeated by then-President Mwai Kibaki — claimed the vote was rigged.
After Kenyatta was declared the winner last month by 54% to 45% for Odinga, sporadic violence erupted in some areas, claiming the lives of at least 24 people nationwide.
Odinga is a longtime challenger for the presidency who has yet to claim the country’s top office. Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of the country’s founding President, has already served one five-year term.