Mkenya Daima held a joint media briefing with the IEBC and the Judiciary On Monday, July 24th 2017 to provided an opportunity for the two institutions to share with the electorate the plans they have put in place to help build confidence in the credibility of the upcoming elections and also for the IEBC to demonstrate how the Biometric Voter Registration Kit works.
This was a follow up to a similar meeting with the key institutions charged with the management of the general elections, held on Monday, July 17, 2017. It had been agreed that the various institutions will work actively together during the electioneering period to ensure the process is peaceful, free, fair and credible, and also ensure that the right information is communicated to the electorate to build confidence in the August 8 elections.
A statement from Justice Mbogholi emphasized that the Judiciary is ready to handle all the cases that may arise from the elections i.e. petitions or other election related offences. The new Elections Act introduced new timelines that mandates the courts to resolve petitions and appeals within 6 months each, and no elections case should take more than a year to resolve.
The Judiciary has trained all the magistrates and judges who will be hearing election disputes on the new Act and a gray book containing the statutes printed to ease referencing. 40 high court stations and 120 magistrates’ courts have been identified across the country to speed up elections dispute resolution within the counties.
After the recent party primaries, 304 cases had been reported to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal where 125 were referred to the High Court and 12 taken to the court of Appeal. To-date, only 4 cases are pending resolution. A large number of cases/disputes are expected after the August 8 elections.
Justice Mbogholi reported that the Judiciary would not delay any cases citing that the case surrounding the printing of ballot papers had been resolved in one and half weeks. “The disputes will be resolved within the timelines set in the constitution” he said. Elections petitions will be prioritized and other cases may be affected except for land and employment disputes, whose judges will not be involved in the exercise.
He urged the candidates who lose in the elections to concede defeat and if dissatisfied to appeal in court. He welcomed criticism from the public but based only criticism based on facts. The main challenge that the judiciary faces now is inadequate budgetary allocation, but Justice Mbogholi expressed optimism that they would get more financial support from the government.
The electrol commission of Kenya assured that the BVR system cannot be hacked. On transmission of the results, the IEBC has partnered with the three mobile operators (Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom). Satellite transmission will also be used in areas without mobile network coverage.
Mkenya Daima is a nonpartisan platform whose primary purpose is to inspire all Kenyans towards peaceful elections and a better Kenya for all. The initiative is inspired by the business community but it is for all Kenyans. The Steering Team is made up of representatives from the business community, civil society, religious leaders, NCIC, vision 2030, media, and university student leaders among others. This initiative has been involved in campaigns to promote peace and inspire Kenyans to vet their leaders before they vote.