By: Mohammed Yusuf
NAIROBI — Civil society group the Africa Center for Open Governance (Africog), has launched a website that presents the evidence it filed at the Kenyan Supreme Court last month, detailing alleged irregularities in the just-concluded national election.
The group recently lost a court challenge to the election of Kenya’s new president, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking in Nairobi Friday at the launch, Maina Kiai, director of InformAction, a co-sponsor of the website, told reporters the group has launched the website to provide Kenyans with information so that they can judge for themselves the conduct of their government institutions.
“Our institutions in this country have to be held accountable, that no matter where they are, no matter what its, whatever you make a decision, please know someone will hold you accountable and that’s what the process is about,” said Kiai.
Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of last month’s election, receiving a little more than 50 percent of the vote, just enough to avoid a run-off election.
His nearest rival, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and Africog challenged the results at the Supreme Court, alleging the vote counting was flawed.
After two weeks of court proceedings, the six justices ruled unanimously to uphold Kenyatta’s victory.
Kiai says up until now, only the judges have seen Africog’s evidence. Now, he says, the public can see it, along with analysis and any other evidence that might come up.
“This is not just about the case, our case, it’s about Kenyans and what happened and to know the truth about the election,” said Kiai. “It’s a critical thing for us to continue having confidence in the electoral process. We have to trust it and we have to feel that at least its listening to us and it knows we are watching it.”
The announcement of the result has divided the country, with Kenyatta’s supporters calling on his opponents to accept the result and move on.
Gladwell Otieno is one of the people who launched the challenge of the election process in the Supreme Court. She says Kenyans must face their country’s problems directly, rather than sweeping everything under the carpet.
“We had the problem in 2007 of the tallying and the transmission of the votes, and the same problem present itself again in 2013,” said Otieno. “And if we don’t deal with these things we’re going to be faced again and again with the same issues until people lose faith in the electoral process which is a very dangerous thing.”
On Tuesday next week, the Supreme Court is expected to make public the arguments behind its decision to uphold Kenyatta’s victory.