Chief Justice David Maraga has revealed some of the key mistakes that led to the cancellation the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election following the petition filed by Opposition Leader Raila Odinga.
Speaking while delivering the detailed judgment, the CJ noted that one of the serious offenses was the use of forms that lacked security features. According to the Chief Justice, there was no reasonable explanation to explain why the forms varied yet they were all printed by one printer.
“Some forms did not have security features yet they were printed by the same printers. Some of the forms used were carbon copies while others were original forms hence authenticity could not be guaranteed,” Maraga stated. He noted that these discrepancies were widespread and affected the integrity of the entire election process.
Maraga also took issue with the fact that Form 34C that was used to declare the final result was not by itself free from doubts of authenticity as it didn’t have a watermark and a serial number.
He cited a scrutiny by the Supreme Court-appointed officials where numerous illegalities were observed.
“The scrutiny order conducted by the court brought the following disclosures; out of 290 Forms 34B, 56 had no security features. Where had the features disappeared to? Could they have been forgeries introduced during the vote tabulating process? If they were forgery who introduced them to the system? What impact did they have?” Maraga posed.
CJ Maraga also questioned why a Presiding Officer would fail to append a signature to a document that he/she was key in preparing and whether the critical documents used in declaring the results should be considered genuine with no security features.
He directed that in future elections, IEBC must conduct the electoral process in conformity with the constitution and the law.
The CJ further directed that in the October election, “IEBC must put in place a complementary system” to provide for backup in case of technological failure.
He also took issue with arguments that the third respondent had won by a big margin and as such, his win should not be nullified stating that election was a process and not just about numbers.
“Whether be it about numbers, or laws, at the end of the day, elections must reflect the true will of the people.While it is important to respect the popular verdict, it is equally important to preserve the purity of the process.