Nota bene: This marks the end of the blood-letting from this son of the soil.
[SIZE=5]How Supreme Court served cold revenge on Raila’s ambitions[/SIZE]
[B]FRIDAY DECEMBER 22 2017
At 12.50am on Thursday, the written version of the Supreme Court judgment in this year’s second presidential election petition reached the 10 mailboxes of lead lawyers who had argued the case.
It was nine days after judges read the judgment in open court, during which all the loose ends were tied up, but it was still in time for Christmas.
And the judges looked, and they saw it was good.
Now, Kenyans, fatigued by elections all year, can go for Christmas without Mr Raila Odinga as a permanent fixture of their politics.
Back in 2013, when the Supreme Court first sat to hear a presidential election petition, the judges had held out a red rag of promise in the event that such an election was nullified: Only the successful petitioner and the illegal usurper would face off in a rematch.
Better still, if one of the two candidates died or abandoned the race, a new election would have to be held.
Although the judges did not nullify the 2013 presidential election petition, they showed Mr Odinga the picture of a succulent fruit so vivid and real that he began to demand juice from it.
When the court did nullify the August 8, 2017 presidential election results, the electoral agency followed its advice and gazetted the election loser and the petition loser as the only candidates in the contest.
Thus emboldened by the currency of the court’s wisdom, Mr Odinga abandoned the second race scheduled for October 26, expecting that a new election would be called.
Well, the judges have since explained to Mr Odinga in plain English that it is very difficult to extract juice from the picture of a mango, and that were one to succeed perchance, it would not be mango juice at all.
“[/B]With the benefit of hind sight,” the judges wrote, the only way the October 26 election could have been cancelled was if Mr Odinga or his running mate had died; or if Mr Odinga would have won the election and died before being declared winner.
“Withdrawal of a candidate from the electoral contest is clearly not one of the scenarios contemplated by the Constitution as a basis for the cancellation of an election. In the circumstances, this Court would have to depart from the decision in question.”
After straddling Kenyan public life for 30 years, the doyen of opposition politics is grasping at a dishonoured promissory note from the Supreme Court.
He is now preoccupied with the weighty matters of his legacy and the risks to his international stature as a statesman.
His days are spent avoiding swear words and dodging Bible-carrying supporters who want to forcibly administer an oath of a non-existent office upon his person.
Since 2013, Mr Odinga has not been trusting of the Supreme Court.
Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold.
After asking the court to redeem itself just before filing his successful petition in August 2017, Mr Odinga will be coming to terms with how there will be no new elections in six months.
The judges took judicial notice of the fact that the National Super Alliance, on whose ticket Mr Odinga had sought the presidency, was responsible for violence.
They knew from gut instinct that the second presidential petition was an Odinga decoy.
It did not matter that he was not a petitioner in the case; or that he had been excluded from participating as a respondent or interested party.
So they admonished him in his absence: “Those who intentionally instigate and perpetrate violence must not plead the same violence as a ground for nullifying an election.”
The judges’ revenge has been served at the temperature of dessert[B].
In modern Nairobi-speak, Mr Odinga now knows that he does not know.
The writer is a Programme Advisor, Journalists for Justice. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect those of JFJ. [email protected]