Raila wishes Uhuru "well" in running government

Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Center), with Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (2nd Left) addresses the media at a press conference at his office in Nairobi on March 30, 2013. Photo/AFP

What you need to know:

  • Cord says it respects court’s judgement but is disappointed that judges disallowed evidence

Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday conceded defeat but insisted that the March 4 presidential elections were marred with irregularities.

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy leader, speaking to journalists at his office, at the same time wished President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta well in his work.

Mr Odinga on Saturday lost a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the declaration of Mr Kenyatta as President-elect by the electoral body.

The PM said he would continue to fight for the rights and betterment of lives of Kenyans.

Mr Odinga was joined by Cord principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula, and lawyers George Oraro and Ochieng Oduol. Others were Cord-elected leaders, some of whom, like nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro, cried as he wound up his speech.

Mr Odinga said that although he would abide by the Supreme Court judgement, as per his earlier promise on March 9, Cord had evidence of malpractices in the elections and that the technological failure witnessed during the polls required a full audit.

He said some Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission staff also engaged in electoral fraud and that there was irregular sharing of the IEBC server with a competitor.

He applauded Cord lawyers for doing their best in prosecuting the petition, which he said was not a personal grudge as alleged by Mr Kenyatta, his deputy-elect William Ruto and the IEBC.

“I and my brother Kalonzo Musyoka had the right to take our case to court,” Mr Odinga said.

The PM expressed disappointment that Kenya’s highest court disallowed evidence in Cord and Africog’s petitions for being filed late or due to lack of enough time, saying Kenyans lost the chance to know what really happened during the March 4 polls.

He, however, said that “the court has spoken” and its decision is final, even though he does not agree with some of its findings.

“The Constitution remains supreme,” Mr Odinga said, adding that his petition was a positive step in entrenching democracy.

He cited truth, justice and implementation of the Constitution as the best guarantee for peace and security.

“I hope the incoming government will have fidelity to our Constitution,” Mr Odinga said.

The PM wished governors, senators and elected women representatives success in discharging their duties and meeting the expectations of Kenya, and thanked them for their hard work and devotion in the quest for justice.

He added that the reform of institutions should continue, adding that Kenya’s future is bright and Kenyans should not let the elections divide them.

“As our national anthem says: Justice be our shield and defender.”

Mr Odinga likened the anomalies witnessed in the March 4 elections as democracy on trial and accused the IEBC of failing to ensure free and fair polls.

“The constitutionally sanctioned electoral process was flawed.

He said his move to file a petition was a testament to his faith in the independence of the Judiciary.

“For the sake of democracy and all Kenyans, we wanted a free and fair election for Kenyans to exercise their democratic right to vote and choose leaders of their choice,” he said.

He was happy that Africog also filed a petition challenging the declaration of Mr Kenyatta as Kenya’s fourth president by the IEBC. Africog’s petition was also yesterday dismissed.

Others who accompanied Mr Odinga were senators James Orengo, Hassan Omar, Otieno Kajwang, Janet Ongera, Johnstone Muthama, MPs Dalmas Otieno, Eseli Simiyu, James Nyikal, Ken Okoth, Millie Odhiambo, Daniel Maanzo, John Mbadi and Mumbi Ngaru.