Martha Karua Files Complaint in Regional Court for August Elections

Karua, a High Court barrister, and Khelef Khalifa, a human rights activist from Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), filed a joint complaint at the South African Court of Justice. is in Arusha, Tanzania.

The duo challenges the decision which confirmed the election of William Ruto as President of Kenya.

“Kenya’s electoral management body and the Supreme Court have subverted democracy and undermined the rule of law through their actions during the 2022 presidential election,” the petition filed with the regional court reads.

The Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is accused of having “engaged in multiple acts which violated the rights of the petitioners and other citizens”.

The petitioners claim that “[…] unauthorized persons accessed, deleted and downloaded election results, and that the dysfunctional electoral management body failed to investigate or respond to complaints”.

Karua wants the regional court to order the Kenyan authorities to carry out “transparent, independent and professional conduct”. investigations of all [the] offensesallegedly committed by the IEBC and the Supreme Court of Kenya.

A media statement said the petitioners “rely on the Treaty Establishing the East African Community to claim that the actions and decisions of the two organs of state have violated their rights.”

[…] the Supreme Court refused to consider all the evidence presented before it, neglected to fully investigate the applied technology, while condoning the IEBC cover-up

On September 5, Kenya’s Supreme Court dismissed seven petitions challenging the validity of Ruto’s victory, ruling there was no evidence to support claims that the presidential vote was not free and fair. .

However, both petitioners claim that they have been “frustrated in their attempt to access justice through a fair trial [and that] the judges did not require IEBC to provide all the necessary information assert their rights”.

“[…] the Supreme Court refused to consider all the evidence presented before it, neglected to fully investigate the applied technology, while condoning IEBC’s cover-up by refusing to grant access to its technology, [which was] essential to deciding the matter fairly, in defiance of his own orders.

Not his first time

This is not the first time that Karua, a longtime former MP from Gichugu constituency, has sought justice from the regional court.

In 2019, she filed a complaint against the Kenyan Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss her petition challenging the election of Anne Waiguru as Kirinyaga County Governor. She argued that the Supreme Court breached her right to a fair trial.

[..] my case [at] the Supreme Court was mishandled and dismissed without facts

A year later, a three-judge bench ruled that the Kenyan court had effectively denied Karua a fair trial and awarded him $25,000 in damages.

“What I received is far less than what I spent on the petition, but I am happy because my supporters and the people of Kenya now know that my Supreme Court case was mishandled and dismissed without facts. , ” she said East Africa newspaper, a regional publication.

“Accepting Defeat”

Karua’s latest case in the regional court over the 2022 presidential elections has drawn anger and support in equal measure.

Gachoki Gitari, an MP from her backyard in Kirinyaga County, criticized the decision saying she should accept that her coalition lost.

“Karua should stop wasting time at the East African Court of Justice, let it focus on government verification,” he says, adding that she should focus on government oversight instead by Ruto.

However, Raila’s spokesman, Professor Makau Mutua, said the Azimio la Umoja coalition was still fighting for justice.

“No one should imagine that the Kenyan presidential election is over. We never conceded anything. Stay tuned,” he said on Twitter.

According to Kevin Ochol, a political analyst in Nairobi, Karua’s aim is for the regional court to have a different opinion, even if the decision of the Kenyan court cannot be overturned.

Ochol adds that the language used by the Kenyan judges, including phrases like “hot air” to show that the evidence presented by Karua and Raila was weak, could have prompted Karua to file the petition with the regional court.

“Karua seeks to show that the Kenyan judges were not fair in their decision,” he said. The Africa Report.

Brief history of the regional court

The East African Court of Justice was launched in November 2001.

Its primary responsibility is to ensure that the seven member states of the community and individuals abide by the law in the interpretation, application and observance of the EAC Treaty.

Other responsibilities include: Providing advisory opinions; Prejudicial Decisions to National Courts; and Arbitration awards if contracts and agreements confer jurisdiction.

Members include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and most recently the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Elna M. Lemons