The annulment by the Supreme Court of Kenya of election results is seminal, instructive, ground-breaking, a glimmer of hope for the rule of the law on the continent, a lesson, a warning…Overall a judicial precedent with ripples that must and will be replicated all over Africa. LONG LIVE the Rule of Law in Mother Africa. – wrote lawyer Ambokire Salimu on Facebook.
His was among the many sentiments echoed by people across the digital world. The first of September was a special day; a historical day of phenomenal reckoning.
On this lovely Friday, the continent and the whole world buzzed with the news of the Kenyan Supreme Court ruling over the elections. For the first time in African history, an election was annulled and fresh elections are set to be held within 60 days. Uhuru Kenyatta, a long standing leader of Kenya, is, at this point, no longer the legal winner of the election that took place a month prior.
The annulment came after the opposition, led by Raila Odinga, argued that the servers of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission were hacked during the elections and results of the elections were manipulated in favour of the ruling party under Uhuru Kenyatta. In the run-up to the elections, a high ranking election official who was heading the IT aspect of the election system was found tortured and murdered. This was considered part of the plot to control the outcome of the elections.
This story – the story of ruling parties over-stepping their powers and taking unjust advantage of their positions of authority to bully the system into winning elections – is common, especially on the African political landscape. It has often led to protests that have sometimes caused deaths of citizens, a growing mistrust in the system and catalysed voter apathy.
This unprecedented ruling by the Kenyan Supreme Court has brought hope to many Africans who feel that justice, the constitution and the will of the people can still hold the ground. The African continent has been shaken by gripping abuse of power, corruption and raped democracies. Malawi is under the siege of cases of corruption. Billions of taxpayers’ money have been misappropriated to satisfy the greed and desires of those with power and the right connections.
Malawi is struggling because people seem to be above the law. The Constitution is not upheld and democracy is compromised. People who should be brought to book are not brought to book. Elections that are suspected to have been rigged are not thoroughly investigated.
But justice is possible. Kenya has flown the flag of democracy high and other African countries should emulate this example in the fight against abuse of power and growing corruption. Malawi is one of the countries that should take the lead in borrowing a leaf from Kenya.
Malawi is a country with massive potential, but such potential is stifled by systems that have been crippled and raped of their potential by those that use their power to serve only their interests. Unfortunately, because this starts at the high level, the Pandora effect of such a system is steadily injecting this poison into the population at large. Companies, organisations and households are failing to progress because they are shadowed by the overhead influences of this retrogressive system.
The country needs pioneers that will set a new foundation and reset the wheel of the system, the way Kenya has done it. Boldness and sternness is needed in serving justice and in upholding the will of the people. We cannot progress if we do not take the necessary bold steps to unleash a wave of change; a wave of integrity, justice and accountability. Nzotheka ndithu [It is possible].
I rest my case.