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Kenya: Fifth time unlucky for Raila Odinga

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Picture: Supplied – Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga

By Chad Williams

“We have always stood for the rule of the law and the constitution. In this regard, we respect the opinion of the court but we vehemently disagree with their decision today”, Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga said minutes after the Kenya Supreme Court ruled that president-elect Willam Ruto was in fact properly elected in the 9 August 2022 presidential election.

Odinga’s journey to Kenya’s top job came to a crashing halt after the Kenyan electorate voted Ruto as president in the tight Kenya elections.

Odinga, who is a veteran politician, vowed to take the Kenyan electoral body to court over the IEBC’s results, transparency and processes to the Supreme Court of Kenya, to dispute the outcome.

Odinga, who is no stranger to post-election court battles, said in a statement on Monday.

“Our lawyers proffered irrefutable evidence and the facts were on our side, unfortunately the judges saw it otherwise.

“We find it incredible that the judges saw it otherwise. We find it incredible that the judges found against us on all nine grounds and occasionally resorted to unduly exaggerated language to refute our claims.”

Odinga further said the judgment was by no means the end of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

He said that it inspired the movement to redouble its efforts to transform Kenya into a prosperous democracy.

He thanked his supporters for standing with him and said they would be kept informed of future plans to continue the struggle for transparency, accountability and democracy.

Odinga’s running mate for the August 9 Kenyan presidential election, Martha Karua, has said she disagrees with the findings of the Supreme Court.

“The court has spoken. I respect but disagree with the findings,” she tweeted a few minutes after the court announced its unanimous decision to dismiss all petitions against the election of William Ruto as the next president of Kenya.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s president-elect William Ruto on Monday pledged to extend “a hand of brotherhood” to his rivals after the Supreme Court upheld his victory in the August 9 presidential poll.

Both Ruto and Odinga had vowed to respect the court’s ruling, and I’m sure with memories still raw of deadly violence that marred previous election disputes in East Africa’s most vibrant democracy still fresh, it’s time for the people of Kenya to work together for the greater good of the super-power East Africa country.

I think democracy won in Africa this week.

Williams is a multi-media journalist with the African News Agency (ANA)