Nairobi. Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Monday claimed the Supreme Court upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election victory under duress even as plans to swear in the Jubilee leader next Tuesday started in earnest.
Mr Odinga, who was reportedly in Tanzania at the time of the Supreme Court ruling, said the Jubilee government was illegitimate and that the opposition’s next course of action will be announced this week.
The court met under severely constrained circumstances, having failed to raise a quorum over serious security concerns following the shooting and wounding of the Deputy Chief Justice’s driver before a crucial pre-October 26 election hearing, his adviser Salim Lone, said in a statement.
“We in Nasa had repeatedly declared before this Supreme Court ruling that we consider this government to be illegitimate and do not recognise it.
“This position has not been changed by the court ruling, which did not come as a surprise.
“It was a decision taken under duress. We do not condemn the court, we sympathise with it,” he said.
As Mr Odinga vowed to push on with his crusade to restore electoral justice, preparations for the swearing-in of President Kenyatta for the second term resumed at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani.
A team of top security officials from various departments, including the military held a meeting inside the stadium.
Military rehearsals were expected to start yesterday, according to Mr Joseph Irungu, who is chairing the Assumption of Office sub-committee on Security, Logistics and Protocol.
“The committee is picking from where it left before the nullification of the first election.
“We expect about 100,000 visitors and invitations to heads of state have already been sent out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.
A full transition schedule will be released at the end of this week as well as the day’s programme.
“We have less than a week to the ceremony and all the committees will work to ensure that it is held successfully.
“We are also working on a modest budget to finance it. The main dais will seat about 1,600 VVIPs.
“I can assure that we will have no challenges in handling security. Meetings will continue today,” Mr Irungu said.
The committee involves officials from the ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Finance, and Also involved in the planning are director-general of the National Intelligence Service, the Inspector General of Police, chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, chief registrar of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice and the secretary to the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat.
At 10.30am, the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice David Maraga dismissed the two petitions challenging Mr Kenyatta’s October 26 victory, saying they lacked merit.
The petitions were filed by former assistant minister and Kilome MP Harun Mwau, lawyer Njonjo Mue and activist Khelef Khalifa.
“As a consequence, the presidential election of October 26, 2017 is hereby upheld, as is the election of the third respondent (President Kenyatta),” the judges said in a unanimous decision read by Justice Maraga.
Mr Mwau accused the commission of failing to adhere to the orders of the court. The former Kilome MP maintained that the election failed to meet the constitutional threshold. Because of time constraints, the two petitions were consolidated and heard together. (NMG)