Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday September 5, unanimously upheld William Ruto’s presidential win, in a scathing judgement while also blasting opposition leader Raila Odinga’s accusations of electoral cheating.
Kenya, East Africa’s most wealthy and influential nation had been on tension since the August 9 elections, which pitted Ruto against Odinga.
Ruto had won the election but Odinga alleged that widespread cheating occured, an accusation which has led to some electoral violence among both sets of supporters.
However, on Monday, September 5, the country’s supreme court certified Ruto’s win.
According to Reuters, Ruto’s jubilant supporters danced and waved flags in his party colours of yellow and green.
“This court upholds the election of the first respondent (William Ruto) as the president-elect,” Chief Justice Martha Koome, who heads the seven-member court, said in a televised judgement.
Koome dismissed affidavits alleging that polling stations results forms had been tampered with as “double hearsay” and containing forgeries. Another was described as “no more than hot air … a wild goose chase”.
“Some of the (computer) logs presented as evidence … were either from logs arising from the 2017 election or were outright forgeries,” she said.
Koome even raised the possibility of perjury, noting that two people who filed affidavits allegedly on behalf of polling stations agents had not spoken to the agents.
“Swearing to falsehoods is a criminal offence,” she said.
She also called for reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, saying that a “boardroom rupture” between the commissioners had undermined public confidence.
Odinga took to Twitter that he would respect the ruling even though he vehemently disagreed with it, easing fears that Kenya would see any repeat of the violence that followed disputed votes in 2007 and 2017.
Ruto will be sworn in on Sept. 13.