Kenya

Githu: CJ erred by annulling Uhuru's win

Githu: CJ erred by annulling Uhuru's win

Summary

  • Prof Muigai said the annulment betrayed his long-held beliefs as a constitutional lawyer and a historian involved in the process of writing the Constitution and implementing it.

Former Attorney-General Githu Muigai has said that the annulment of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win by the Supreme Court in 2017 was an error in judgement, and that the events that followed like the mock swearing-in of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga almost pushed the country into anarchy.

Prof Muigai said the annulment betrayed his long-held beliefs as a constitutional lawyer and a historian involved in the process of writing the Constitution and implementing it.

The former AG said that, the world over and even in the Commonwealth which Kenya is a member, overturning an election has been based on the principle that the irregularities witnessed had affected the outcome of the vote, which was not the case in Kenya, and which the Supreme Court failed to demonstrate.

But Chief Justice David Maraga has said that he does not regret making the decision he made alongside three of his colleagues, a position he says he would still take, even ten years from now, if the same evidence is tabled before him.

“There were irregularities that were demonstrated, but they were so minor that they did not affect the outcome. I argued that in court but the court did not agree and the judges annulled the election,” said Prof Muigai.

Speaking to NTV in an exclusive interview on Tuesday evening, the professor of law at the University of Nairobi said that the mock swearing-in of Mr Odinga was the closest the country was to descending into chaos.

Prof Muigai, who had opposed the swearing-in, said Mr Odinga ought to have sought other ways of resolving his grievances instead of creating false hope among his supporters with a chaotic exercise that led to the clampdown of opposition leaders.

Mr Odinga had on January 30, 2018 taken an oath in front of hundreds of his supporters at Uhuru Park as the “people’s president” after boycotting a repeat election. Prof Muigai, who was speaking on the ten-year journey of implementing the Constitution, said that the journey of actualising the law has been a success.

He said that agitations for the implementations of various bills on the two-thirds gender principles as well as the respect for the rule of law and the independence of institutions, are things Kenya can only get better at with time.