Kenya Supreme Court bans public utterances on disputed polls
Posted Wednesday, March 20 2013 at 15:56
The Supreme Court of Kenya has barred politicians from making comments and utterances on the disputed poll results outside the court room.
Dr. Willy Mutunga, Kenya’s Chief Justice, issued the order on Wednesday morning while presiding over the mention of a petition filed by Raila Oginga Odinga, the CORD alliance presidential candidate, challenging the March 4 election results.
The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission declared Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta president-elect with 6.1 million votes against Raila’s 5.3 million votes. However, Mr Odinga refused to concede defeat and has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking for an annulment of the results.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have been engaged in a war of words over the last few days, with the latter asking Mr Kenyatta not to use state resources such as the presidential motorcade, security and aircrafts until he is sworn-in officially.
Mr Odinga also said the Jubilee alliance had hatched a plan long before the elections to steal votes.
Mr Uhuru however asked Mr Odinga to stop politicizing the court process and asked him and his supporters to wait for the outcome of the petition.
Justice Mutunga has subsequently issued an order barring any public utterances on the petition, adding that there would be consequences for those found guilty of making utterances outside the court room.
The judge also the petitioners’ lawyers to advise their clients accordingly on matters regarding their conduct and statements that may undermine the court authority.
Justice Mutunga said some of the utterances about the petition may be prejudicial to the court process.
He also cautioned the media against taking sides on the petition.
Both parties are expected to file their responses by 23rd March.