Kenya court blames polls commission

Nairobi: Kenya’s Supreme Court on Wednesday blamed the election commission for last month’s annulled presidential vote, rebuking officials for bungling the transmission of results and basing the outcome on dubious documents.
The full ruling detailing the court’s shock decision on September 1 to annul President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory struck a searing blow to the credibility of the election commission, casting doubt on its ability to organise a new poll in less than a month.
Deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu described “disturbing, if not startling, revelations” about the conduct of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and singled it out for ignoring a Supreme Court order to open up its computer servers after opposition allegations of hacking.
The four judges who decided in a majority decision to annul the vote also said the election commission had failed to verify the numbers before declaring Kenyatta winner. Two dissenting judges were delivering separate judgements.
Lawyers for Raila Odinga’s National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition last month challenged Kenyatta’s re-election alleging rigging, hacking and tampering with results.
On the hacking charge, the IEBC was excoriated for failing to provide the evidence and access that could have cleared up some of Odinga’s claims.
“Our order of scrutiny was a golden opportunity for the IEBC to place before the court evidence to debunk the petitioner’s claim,” Mwilu read from the court’s detailed judgement.— AFP