ODINGA’S contempt of court must be punished thoroughly

Guest blog post

By Eric Ng’eno

The Supreme Court, beyond nullifying the results of the presidential election of 8th August 2017, also ordered the IEBC to conduct a fresh presidential election within 60 days.

For a while now, Raila Odinga has led NASA senior officials in an absurd onslaught on the IEBC. Apart from a delusional raft of petulant “irreducible minimums”, Odinga has indicated a strategy based on two bizarre assumptions.

The first is that he must be on the ballot for a valid election to take place. The second is that there will be a constitutional crisis if no election is held as ordered. Both assumptions are deliriously nonsensical at best. It is clear that NASA leadership are unfamiliar with the constitution’s letter and spirit. This level of negligence and ignorance is worrisome.

As the petitioners who initiated the legal proceedings which culminated in the Supreme Court orders, Odinga and NASA are especially enjoined to subject themselves fully to the complete obedience and execution of the Court’s orders.

Recent behaviour and utterances by Odinga indicate that not only are NASA uninterested in any election, they are taking active measures to obstruct IEBC from holding the elections. The tantrum over irreducible minimums is therefore part of a strategy deployed to sabotage the orders of the Supreme Court. This behaviour is not only disgraceful and tragic, it constitutes brazen contempt in the face of the Supreme Court.

Clearly, Odinga’s mission before the Supreme Court was restricted to the nullification of the presidential election. To him, the rest of the court’s orders are not just inconvenient, they are meaningless and unworthy of attention.

Disobedience of court orders is a crime that strikes at the heart of the authority of judicial institutions and undermines the rule of law. A party who takes such trouble and invests time, effort and resources to undermine court orders that he painstakingly procured resides in the domain of singular deviants. This instance of contempt of court is outstanding in its cynicism and nihilistic callousness. It must not go unremarked. It must not go unpunished.

Ng’eno is the Senior Director, Speech Writing and Messaging, The Presidency.