“The day before the fresh presidential election, the Supreme Court could not form the necessary quorum to hear a petition for a delay to the poll. This is highly unusual and raised serious questions among Kenyan stakeholders, including about possible political interference having prevented judges from attending the hearing. The previous day, the driver of the Deputy Chief Justice was shot and injured,” added the report.
Besides that, Jubilee’s use of public resources to campaign was singled out, with the observers saying incumbency favoured the President’s party.
“During the 141 rallies observed by EU long-term observers, 27 instances of misuse of state resources in 16 counties were witnessed. These included 18 instances involving Jubilee and four involving Nasa,” they stated.
They added: “There is a common perception, as well as concrete observation, of funds raised being used for alternative forms of campaigning, including inducement payments, which are widely accepted and also demanded. Video footage seen by the EU observer mission shows candidates handing out money directly to people lining up.
Long-term observers observed the distribution of money (also referred to as a ‘transportation refund’) in seven separate campaign events in Embu, Kakamega, Kwale, Mombasa, Nairobi and Nyeri counties.”
Instructively, the observer mission recommended that Parliament operationalise the Campaign Financing Act that it suspended in January 2017.
Their recommendation was that “the Parliament operationalise the Election Campaign Financing Act to regulate the amount of money received and spent by candidates and political parties during an election or referendum”.
Something that may also irk the Jubilee leadership is the EU report’s amplification of sentiments that there lacks rotation in the presidency beyond two ethnic groups.
“There were various public calls from Kenyan stakeholders to address structural problems of exclusion, Kenya’s ‘winner-takes-all’ politics, the lack of rotation in the presidency beyond two ethnic groups, and the over-reach of the government,” they state.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has on various occasions announced that William Ruto will be taking over the Jubilee Party leadership. Should Mr Ruto win the presidency in 2022.
This will mean Kenya has been led by either a Kikuyu or a Kalenjin in its 55 years of independence.