By Manoah Esipisu
Yesterday, the Supreme Court spoke. It upheld the Presidential election of 26th October as you are aware. The matter was decided justly and impartially. And we should all respect the ruling of the court, it binds the President, his Jubilee ticket, and every single Kenyan.
It binds us, as Kenyans, because we have bound ourselves to our Constitution and to the rule of law: indeed, for us to live together in harmony, we must have a common set of rules to which we are all committed. If we remain a country governed by laws, if our people abide by them and their leaders’ actions are circumscribed by them, then we will live in peace in a vibrant democracy, not in fear under tyranny.
Our region, and indeed the world, is littered with broken, dysfunctional countries that failed the test of democracy, and fell into anarchy. We, as Kenyans, must jealously guard our nationhood, and our hard-won peace and security. When dissent escalates and causes injury to innocent Kenyans it becomes an illegality. It also becomes a profound betrayal of the hopes of millions of Kenyans who look upon their leaders to ensure that they get a better life. The Presidency condemns all perpetrators of such reckless dissent.
The ruling of the Supreme Court yesterday is a vote for the Constitutional path. It is a resounding triumph of the rule of law over the tragedy of chaotic disorder.
The Supreme Court has affirmed the path designed by the architects of our Republic: a path governed by constitutional institutions and the Rule of Law; a path whose end is order, stability and prosperity for our Great Nation.
Faced with a choice between constitutional order and lawlessness, we have chosen the rule of law. Faced with a choice between mediating political differences by law, or by force and street protest, we have chosen the constitutional order. That, in the President’s view, is the only way forward.
When he took the oath of office as President, President Kenyatta swore to protect the Constitution that binds us all.
As President, his actions were and are ordered by the Rule of Law. This is why he submitted himself to the authority of the Supreme Court after they nullified his victory in August.
The President is particularly troubled by the violence and disorder we have seen in parts of the country these last few months. He deeply regrets that we lost Kenyans to this violence. He mourns every life lost in the senseless riots. No Kenyan should die because of their political leaning.
The protection of property is also part of the President’s constitutional obligation.
And by ‘property’ he does not mean just the businesses, vehicles and buildings destroyed in political demonstrations; he means also the property of poor traders like the woman whose bananas were violently taken away from her after she was stabbed by rioting youths. And he will continue to work to protect people and their property.
The President would like to assure all Kenyans, those who voted for him and those who did not, that he will be President of all Kenyans.
No one should fear that they will be marginalised or penalised for their political choice.
The President wishes to thank everyone who made the October 26th election possible. This includes the IEBC which gave us free, fair, credible and successful elections under very difficult circumstances.
Next week, the President will take his oath of office. On that day, he will rededicate himself to the path of peace, prosperity, constitutional order, and of healing.
On the matter of the election, let me close by saying this:
We are a great nation whose institutions effectively play their role, separately and in coordination, to realise the rule of law. Our democracy and our freedoms are safeguarded by this.
Let me now focus on next steps.
As I mentioned earlier, the President will take his oath for second term next week on November 28 and the Assumption of Office Committee is now meeting to plan the inauguration events. Fort he media, there will be an alert issued this afternoon by the National Government Communications Coordinating Centre with details about accreditation. More details about this will be issued towards the end of the week.
Some of you have asked about how many countries have congratulated the President on his re-election. As of yesterday, we can confirm that more than 40 countries had done so. The Foreign Ministry will release details in due course. Essentially, these congratulatory messages are normally channelled through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The President, as President-Elect, is now working on his priorities for his second term, and will speak to some of these when he addresses the nation at his inauguration next week.
Lastly, and unrelated to elections, as you know the CS for Education, Dr Fred Matiang’i, released the results of the 2017 KCPE examinations earlier today. Before he made the public announcement, he met the President and the President has directed the CS and his Ministry to set special supplementary examinations, for a special cadre of students who because of compassionate reasons may usually have difficulty doing exams during the normal exams calendar. These special examinations may be undertaken by students who may be ill, lose their parents, or give birth during the normal examinations calendar. This is already the practice around the world. We have been lagging behind that and I think it is time to bridge the gap.