I just finished a review of the ongoing gubernatorial petitions in Kenya.
In total, there were 35 petitions against the 47 country governor contests held in August 2017. Three of these 47 wins were petitioned against by two different petitioners. Overall therefore, 32/47 of the contests (68%) were petitioned. This is a pretty awful statistic. Either 2/3 of the elections were fraudulent/rigged or there is a vast amount of time and money being wasted on frivolous petitions (in my view, a consequence of the annulment of the first presidential poll on procedural grounds which opened the floodgates for late petitions).
Of the 37 cases, 17 were against Jubilee governors and their allies and 18 against pro-NASA governors. NASA therefore have more to lose, as they only won 18 governorships in 2017. In fact, 15/18 of the pro-NASA governors' wins were contested in court at least once.
So far, four cases have been withdrawn (all against Jubilee winners, interestingly). One has been dismissed (against an ODM winner) and four have failed on procedural issues or technicalities (filed too late, or missing key information) - two Jubilee, two NASA. 26 are ongoing. No gubernatorial election has yet been annulled, but it is early days. The first nullifications can be expected in January or February 2017.
The various allegations of malpractice have not been published in detail, but we know from the press about some of the claims made. In some cases, petitions claim errors in tallying and counting and simply ask for a recount, claiming that officials favoured the winner by fiddling the numbers during tallying. A few were basically copies of NASA’s successful presidential petition, alleging that the election results in the IEBC portal were not corroborated, or that the technology was not “simple, accurate and verifiable”. This leaves some NASA leaders in a difficult position, as they now must argue that the electoral process and technology used in August 2017 - which was the same for all the contests, and which they claimed was fundamentally flawed and rigged in the presidential election - was fine for their win. In a few cases there are new meaty, substantial allegations such as the claim that in Wajir, election officials disappeared with three KIEMS kits and used them to register fake results.
Three petitions, embarrassingly for the IEBC’s candidate vetting, allege that the governors’ academic qualifications (a degree from a recognised institution is required to be a governor) were invalid or simply faked. At least one incumbent governor already faces arrest for forgery.
NASA is by far the most exposed from here on, with 15 remaining cases against their 18 governors, while Jubilee has 11 remaining cases against their 29.
Note: this is collated from the various press reports and a periodically updated summary available on Kenya Law. There is one petition whose status is uncertain but I have assumed in the absence of confirmation that is it still running.
Thoughts on anything Kenya, mostly political.