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HomeAfricaTanzania’s retired Chief Justice arrives in Kenya to head judges’ mission

Tanzania’s retired Chief Justice arrives in Kenya to head judges’ mission

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Chande pic
Retired Chief Justice (CJ) Mohamed Chande Othman. PHOTO | FILE
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s retired chief justice Mohammed Chande Othman has arrived in Kenya to head a high-level group of eminent African judges and jurists in observing the proceedings of the 2022 presidential petitions at the Supreme Court. They are all members of the Africa Judges and Jurists Forum.The former CJ will lead a team of prominent members of the continental judicial system, which include Justice Lilian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza of the Supreme Court of Uganda, Justice Ivy Kamanga from the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, Justice Moses Chinhengo of the Lesotho Supreme Court of Appeal and Justice Henry Mbha, president of the Electoral Court of South Africa.They will attend all Supreme Court hearings and document the proceedings based on international human rights standards of fairness. They will also analyse the role and independence of Kenya’s Judiciary in examining electoral disputes. The team will also review the socio-political climate in the run-up to the petitions.

The team will then develop a report aimed at contributing to a more robust, independent, professional, impartial and accountable Judiciary.

“The observers’ report also aims to contribute to a more independent legal profession and better adherence to the rule of law and international legal standards concerning the resolution of electoral disputes,” a statement from the group reads.

The mission will also hold pre-hearing meetings with the petitioners, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General.

Observation process briefing

The team will introduce its members to the petitioners and brief them of the observation process.

Several petitions were filed in Kenya’s apex court after Deputy President William Ruto was declared winner of the hotly contested August 9 presidential election.

At least eight petitions seek to nullify Dr Ruto’s win, with several petitioners alleging serious violations of the electoral process. Others want the court to determine whether Dr Ruto hit the required 50 per cent plus one threshold to be declared winner.

Another petition asks the court to quash the petitions challenging Dr Ruto’s win. The court will hear the petitions and render a verdict by September 5.

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