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Justice Kamanga to be part of Kenya election case

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By Feston Malekezo

The Africa Judges and Jurists Forum has roped in Justice Ivy Kamanga of the Supreme Court of Appeal to be part of a High-Level Panel of African Jurists to observe the 2022 Presidential Election petition in Kenya.

The trial observation mission is being headed by Chief Justice of the Republic of Tanzania, Justice Mohammed Chande Othman.

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High Court and Supreme Court of Malawi Registrar Kondwani Banda said this depicts high level of recognition and trust people within and abroad have in Malawi’s judicial system.

“We have trust to the world through the way we conducted our elections case, when we overturned the results; that aspect of professionalism, I think, with the award given for the same by the Chatham House in England actually tells you that people still believe and they trust us so much. This is not only for us as judiciary to be proud of but as a country as a whole,” he said.

In the petition, Raila Odinga, who came second in Kenya’s presidential election, has gone to court to challenge the result which ushered in William Ruto as Kenya’s president.

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This was the fifth time that the 77 year-old Odinga who is also Kenya’s Leader of Opposition had run for president and it is the third time in a row that he has gone to court to get an election outcome overturned.

In a statement released by the forum on August 25, 2022, other delegation members include Justice Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza of the Supreme Court of Uganda, Justice Moses Chinhengo of the Court of Appeal of Lesotho and Justice Henry Boissie Mbha, recently retired President of the Electoral Court of South Africa.

According the statement, the jurists will attend all Supreme Court hearings, monitor and document the presidential election petition based on international human rights standards of fair trial standards, analyse the role and independence of the Judiciary in examining the electoral disputes and review the sociopolitical climate in the run-up to the petition.

“At the end of the trial observation, the observers will develop a comprehensive report aiming at contributing to a more professional, independent, impartial, and accountable Judiciary, a more independent legal profession, and better adherence to the rule of law and international legal standards concerning the resolution of electoral disputes.

“The Observation Mission will include bilateral meetings before the hearings with the Parties to the Petition, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) and the Attorney General,” reads the statement in part.

The meetings aim to introduce the eminent jurists to the stakeholders of the petition and make them aware of the process and its modalities.

The Africa Judges and Jurists Forum is a pan African network of judges and jurists who are committed to promoting the rule of law and development in Africa.

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