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 British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid