Kiggundu: Kenya Supreme Court shocked me, that’s rare

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Uganda’s former Electoral Commission chairman, Dr Badru Kiggundu, is in shock, over Kenya’s Supreme Court’s decision that overturned the August presidential elections.

Kiggundu who describes the decision as unfortunate, says there is a big task ahead of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission [IEBC] that might require divine intervention.

“I was shocked because an elections is not a one plus one equals two,” Kiggundu told NBS TV’s Nabaasa Innocent in an interview.

“Some people think it’s a one plus one equals three. It’s very rare.”

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati last week downplayed calls by Kenya’s main opposition figure, Raila Odinga, asking him to resign from his office.

Chebukati issued a statement after the Supreme Court ruling that invalidated President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

“I was not personally touched by the Court judgement,” he said, adding that he would still respect it.

He said IEBC will make staff and systems changes ahead of presidential re-run in 60 days as ordered by the Supreme Court.

Chebukati indicated that the commission did justice to the election and called on the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko, to investigate and prosecute any member of the commission found culpable of election malpractices.

The Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru’s re-election, ordering a fresh presidential election in 60 days.

Electoral commission chiefs say they are open to investigations and prosecution over accusations of mishandling the August 8 presidential election.

Chebukati defended his work and vowed not to resign because he was not “personally touched by the Supreme Court ruling”.

He said the commission would proceed to organise the re-run. “I am confident that we can deliver the election in 60 days.  The Court said IEBC to run the election.  This is the only institution that can do that,” he said.

Kiggundu said holding a re-run in 60 days with the same election commissioners will be a challenge. “I wish them well.”

He said they can instead come up with new election commissioners.

The commission, he said, would make internal changes ahead of the repeat poll. The changes will involve shake-up of staff and review of the commission’s systems.

According to Kiggundu, IEBC should have sought guidance from experts this being their first election.

“I too have been taken to Supreme Court for conducting elections considered unfair. But for us, it never came to the case of Kenya.”

Kiggundu was sued by Ugandan opposition Forum for Democratic Change for denying Kizza Besigye his victory in the 2016 elections.

It was Kiggundu’s last election but he still ended up in Supreme Court defending the electoral commission’s questionable tallying of the votes.

In 2011, Dr Besigye again lost to Mr Museveni and alleged rigging. He, as he had vowed in 2006, did not challenge the election in court.

In 2006, Museveni was elected for another five-year tenure, having won 59% of the vote against Besigye’s 37% in a poll conducted by Kiggundu.

Besigye, who alleged fraud, rejected the result. The Supreme Court of Uganda later ruled that the election was marred by intimidation, violence, voter disenfranchisement, and other irregularities.

However, the Court voted 4–3 to uphold the results of the election.

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