Jurisprudence is the study of and theory of Law: the principles behind the law that make it law. Scholars and other legal theorists are among the lot that work and hope to obtain a deeper understanding and nature of the law, legal reasoning, legal systems and legal institutions as they are well enshrined in the constitution of any country.
Recently, The Republic of Kenya has been cited to have upheld this practice of the law through its Supreme Court. Kenya just joined the very small rank of countries in the entire world to consider a general election to be null and void, after Ukraine (2004), Maldives (2014) and Austria (2016) being the most recent before Kenya. Kenya now becomes the first country in Africa to nullify an election.
On Friday 1st September, the Kenyan Supreme court through its president, Chief Justice David Maraga ruled to nullify the country’s polls and ordered for a fresh election within 60 days as provided in the Kenyan institution. He said, “The greatness of any nation lies on the constitution, rule of law and fear of God” to support the verdict he gave. This was indeed a ruling welcomed by a majority of the citizens as well a section of the international community who sent word through their representatives to congratulate the Chief Justice on the job well done and ensuring the independence and integrity of the Judiciary is well upheld.
The August 8th Kenyan polls seemed to have been merged with irregularities and illegalities that appeared to have been cited by the opposition during the transmission of results from the constituencies to the national tallying centre. The opposition based their argument on the basis of the process being flawed from the point of results transmission from the polling stations. They reasoned that manipulation was evident with the 11% margin that was constant between their candidate, Mr. Odinga, and their opponent, Mr. Kenyatta. This is an argument, among others, that they took in front of the 7-member bench court. They challenged the numbers that Mr. Kenyatta insisted he had, having beaten Mr. Odinga by up to 1.4M votes.
They asked their opponents to provide proof and the relevant document to ascertain that indeed the numbers were not cooked. They even went ahead to criticise and demand prosecution of some of the members of the electoral commission, which has now become a source of a hot debate in the country.
Mr. Kenyatta’s camp was keen to stick on the point that indeed they had won fairly and the claims made by opposition were merely propaganda meant to confuse the common citizen from seeing the truth. They supported their motion by reminding the opposition of the number of seats they had clinched in the Senate, National Assembly and County governments. On that front, they had beaten the opposition therefore no point for them to prove about their numbers. They however criticised the opposition for their double standards.
The opposition have fully accepted a section of the ruling, which declared the re-election of Mr. Kenyatta null and void, but ‘rejected’ the order that came with it that the electoral commission should re organize another presidential election. This is because the opposition feel that some of the staff at the electoral body are not competent enough to run another election and thus should be removed. Constitutionally it may be impossible given the limited time given by the court to have another election, therefore being the blow that Mr. Kenyatta’s camp keeps throwing to Mr. Odinga’s side to question their credibility as leaders.
Nevertheless, despite all the political tantrums being thrown inside the Kenyan borders, Kenya still remains as a leader in Africa to show that intimidation of independent institutions is a long gone affair replaced integrity and independence.
Anchored by the rule of law, the people of Kenya believe they have brighter days coming, specifically sourced from the jurisprudence indicted on the 1st of September 2017 through the nullification of presidential elections ruling.