The Supreme Court’s verdict nullifying the BBI process is another landmark ruling, hot on the heels of others that have spoken to power in the past decade. The judgement and its near consistence with rulings on the issue at the High Court of Kenya and the Court of Appeal of Kenya bolsters Kenyans’ confidence in the country’s judiciary. Ever since the reforms that came with the constitution of Kenya 2010, the judiciary has set itself apart as a fair player among the three arms of government. Nowhere has the separation of powers been more potent and meaningful than in the interaction between the judiciary and the executive. Even against the odds of reduced budgetary allocations and threats from the president himself, the judiciary has stood tall and rebuffed every attempt at encroaching on its constitutional mandate.
President Kenyatta has systematically hijacked the fruits of the second liberation that, having been delayed during KANU’s stint at the helm between 1992 and 2002, had begun ripening under NARC and later the Coalition government.
For one, Kenyatta obliterated the opposition in the guise of uniting the country through the handshake. Moreover, the president sought to discredit the fourth estate by mocking, demeaning, and attacking the media using words such as “Gazeti ni ya kufunga nyama.” Additionally, the government eroded the right to peacefully demonstrate by countering peaceful protests with teargas and beatings. Then, using cabinet secretaries and other executive officials sycophantically loyal to him, the head of state weakened the other arms of government—the judiciary was brought to its knees through a reduced budget while the legislature went to the dogs when the sinister pact between the president and Raila Odinga gave the former unfathomable power to unleash severe punishment towards the law makers who dared stand up to his ridiculous stances.
Wasn’t it Uhuru Kenyatta that framed Raila Odinga as a power-hungry monster who was behind his and William Ruto’s woes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2012/2013? Didn’t he angrily brand the former premier a Kîmûdû and use a host of other unmentionable diatribes on him? Wasn’t he the one that promised a twenty-year reign of Jubilee divided between himself and William Ruto with the words, Wangoje yangu kumi na ya William kumi? Didn’t he mock the opposition with Endeleeni kumeza mate na sisi tuendelee kula nyama? Didn’t he stand side by side with William Ruto as the latter lied through his teeth about the nine stadia?
Uhuru’s efforts seem to have placated Raila and cooled his all-consuming fire. But they have gone beyond that. They have completely vanquished political opposition and effectively crowned Kenyatta king. It is therefore not surprising that while Raila’s i’s are hardly dotted and his t’s barely crossed, he has little to say about the reconstitution of a new electoral commission. Like one pacifies a barking dog with a bone, Raila and the opposition have been mollified with friendship and individual economic rewards while their faithful supporters languish under a ruthless regime. The son of Jomo is on a free reign and… Woe to democracy! Woe to Wanjiku!