News / Africa

Kenya Chief Justice Denies Bribery in Presidential Petition

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta displays his certificates of oath from Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during the swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Apr. 9, 2013.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta displays his certificates of oath from Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during the swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Apr. 9, 2013.
Reuters
Kenya's chief justice on Monday denied accusations that he had received bribes to rule in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta in a petition challenging the outcome of last month's election that was the biggest test yet of the newly reformed judiciary.

Kenya's Supreme Court, chaired by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, upheld Kenyatta's victory, dismissing a petition by presidential contender Raila Odinga. Former Prime Minister Odinga accepted the verdict, helping douse tensions after tribal violence blighted the previous election five years before.

The judges' unanimous decision was that Kenyatta had been "validly elected", and that Odinga failed to offer enough evidence of malpractices to overturn the outcome of the vote.

Many Kenyans hailed the court's role in helping the peaceful democratic transition in their country which has the biggest economy in east Africa.

But while Odinga and other opposition leaders have not accused the six-member Supreme Court of corruption, some Kenyans did make such charges online and even wished Mutunga dead.

"For me, the most hurtful allegation was that I had been bribed in the Presidential Petition." Mutunga said in a statement. "I have never been offered a bribe in my life."
Mutunga, a well-respected lawyer, was appointed in 2011 to reform a judiciary seen as in the pay of the political elite.

"I have no doubt in my mind that anybody who dares offer me a bribe, regardless of status, would be the first one I arrest under the constitution and the laws of this land."

Mutunga said the online attacks on him were "indecent, vulgar, and unacceptable".
The chief justice, who ran his statement on Twitter and Facebook, urged anyone with evidence of bribery to present it to the Judicial Service Commission.

Although Odinga, 68, accepted the ruling of the court, he said he did not fully agree with it, having alleged "rampant illegalities" in the vote.

The fifty-one year old Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC), comfortably beat Odinga in total votes won, but only just avoided a run-off by edging above the 50 percent mark.

He denies helping incite violence after the 2007 vote and says he will cooperate with the court to clear his name.

Mutunga has complained of harassment before, citing threats to himself and other judges by a criminal gang in a court case where rights groups sought to bar Kenyatta from running for the presidency citing his ICC charges. So far no one has been arrested over Mutunga's claims.

Corruption is a big issue in Kenya and holds back the economy by choking investment. Transparency International ranks Kenya 139th out of the 174 nations in its 2012 global corruption perception index, lagging behind some of its neighbors.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid