The IEBC yesterday announced William Ruto as Kenya’s president-elect despite numerous claims of irregularities in the election process by the Azimio One Kenya side led by Raila Odinga.
Six Long Days of Waiting
The announcement came after six days of tallying and results verification that kept Kenyans on edge and built up unnecessary tension in the country.
An IEBC Split at the Middle
To add salt to injury, four of IEBC’s commissioners including its vice chair Juliana Cherera, refuted the results citing that their colleagues had conducted the tail end of the process in an “opaque nature.”
Chairman Chebukati’s Fight
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati came out on his own to announce the election results for the 2022 general election despite an air of expectation and jubilation from both sides. Before he could even get started, legislators from the ODM/Azimio side came hurtling fists at him leading to a scuffle at the podium in the Bomas of Kenya. Even so, Chebukati came back and announced William Ruto as the victor and president-elect.
A Dissident Margin
The margin of votes between William Ruto and Raila Odinga was dissident for a lack of a better word. According to Chebukati, Ruto had only surpassed Raila Odinga with a mere 233,000 votes. The IEBC announced that Ruto had garnered 7.1 million votes as compared to Raila Odinga’s 6.9 million votes. What this means is that ultimately, the country is split into two after an election that was for the most part, too close to call.
What Next for Baba and Azimio?
Raila Odinga alias ‘Baba’ and his team are expected to file a petition against the outcome of the 2022 general election with the Supreme Court. The team is expected to put up a momentous legal fight, much like some of their legislators fought just before Chebukati could announce the winner.
Will the Supreme Court Review the Election Results?
Yes. The Kenyan Supreme Court is expected to listen to any presidential election petitions with merit and subsequently review the election process and election results accordingly.
Will the 2022 General Election Results be Nullified?
The Supreme Court, just like in 2017, may even declare the election and election results null and void if it finds out that the law was breached, be it in the electoral process or as part of the irregularities witnessed.
What Won Ruto the 2022 Presidential Election?
Ultimately, what won William Ruto the 2022 presidential election is his political best friend cum worst enemy, now-former president Uhuru Kenyatta. Uhuru Kenyatta secluded Ruto and his cronies in a way that emboldened them.
The ‘Promise’ to Each Serve 10 Years in Power
Uhuru Kenyatta’s most impactful flaw was his statement that he would serve 10 years and support Ruto to serve another 10 years. i.e. the famous “yangu kumi na ya Ruto kumi” line. It directly translates to mine ten [years in power] and Ruto’s 10.
Breaking Legacy: Uhuru Kenyatta Announcing His Preferred Successor Publicly
Another huge flaw by Uhuru Kenyatta was openly trying to influence who will become his successor and pointing out his preferred candidate and naming him publicly. Any outgoing president who wants to preserve a respectable legacy should not announce a preferred candidate publicly. Late former president Mwai Kibaki didn’t and is until today the most beloved of Kenya’s former presidents.
A Flood of Campaign Funds Sourced from the Proceeds of Corruption
Another huge factor that contributed to William Ruto winning the 2022 general election is a flood of campaign funds which are believed to have been proceeds of corruption.
A President-Elect Linked to Numerous Corruption Scandals
Ruto has long been linked to numerous corruption scandals, including the Arror and Kimwarer dam scandals, the maize scandal, land grabbing at the Lang’ata primary school, fake gold scams, and even the Wash Wash Saga. As such, Ruto and his party had a lot, I mean, a lot of money to dish out and essentially bribe voters. This ultimately, was what won Ruto the 2022 presidential election and his party UDA a majority of positions at all levels of governance.
Were the 2022 General Elections in Kenya Transparent?
The 2022 General Elections in Kenya were more transparent than the elections before but were still marred with irregularities. President-Elect William Ruto cited the uploading of form 34As to a public portal as a game changer but we are still yet to verify if the results at the point of entry were untampered with.
Possible Election Tampering at the Polling Stations
How this tampering would happen is to inflate the results at the polling stations while entering the results into the form 34As. A clever way to do this would be to inflate the results of a certain candidate with a number less than that of the voters that didn’t show up to vote. So, to avoid interfering with the sum total of those who cast a vote for each candidate and spoiled and rejected votes, clever and bribed or bought returning officers could easily inflate a candidate’s results, while still ensuring that it appears like more people came out to vote than actually did.
The Uploaded Forms 34As ‘Verified’
The uploaded form 34As would then go on to be verified by the IEBC at the National Tallying Centre in the Bomas of Kenya.
An Election Law that is Self-Destructive
Thing is, if these forms were erroneous at entry and uploaded as such, IEBC is bound by legal precedent to not make any changes even if they detect and identify said errors. What this means is that the input results, regardless of the size of inflation by malicious parties, are taken at face value and as they are, as the legitimate results. This to us is disastrous and gives meat to any possible election petition to be forwarded to the Supreme Court. Even more, it shows how the election law in Kenya is self-destructive.