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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid