Wednesday, October 25, sitting by Kenya’s Supreme Court in a case calling for delay in conducting the presidential re-run election scheduled for Thursday, October 26, was living proof that Africa’s judiciary can hardly shake off images of chaos and disorganization.
Kenya’s Supreme Court gave tacit go-ahead for Thursday’s presidential election re-run in the country to hold, despite fears by opposition and the election umpire that the election may not be free and fair. Raila Odinga, the leading opposition candidate in the election has already boycotted the election
Chief Justice Maraga said the court was unable to hear a petition calling for a delay in conducting the re-run because five out of the seven Supreme Court Justices were not in court for the hearing.
Five judges are needed for a quorum. Justice Marage said the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu was not present in court because her bodyguard was receiving treatment at a hospital in the capital, Nairobi, from gun shot by gunmen on Tuesday.
Another judge was “unwell” and out of the country receiving treatment. Two others judges were “unable to come to court”, and another judge who was out of the capital “has been unable to get a flight” to be present for the court hearing. And Justice Maraga apologized to the parties for the court been unable to hear the case.
Kenya’s Supreme Court, in August, annulled the presidential election for what the court described as “irregularities and illegalities” at the polls.
While incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta who is seeking second term said the election must go ahead, Odinga said he was boycotting the re-run because nothing has changed.
Despite Odinga’s boycott, Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said his name would remain on the ballot for Thursday’s election.