At the time it was posted, it escaped the attention of many. It looked like nothing more than a normal message from Martha Karua that was simply plain and ordinary. However, now looking back, it was a cautionary message.
In the post, the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance Coalition party running-mate retweeted a message advising that no matter the outcome we all remain Kenyans before disturbingly adding that God should have mercy on us. In a further hint at what was about to happen, she finished by adding that ”It’s done”. Soon after the post, diplomats started leaving, after which all hell broke loose and Chebukati found himself in the middle of a scuffle that made it initially impossible to read the results. Karua’s retweet read,
Whatever the outcome today, all the best to Kenyans and to @RailaOdinga and
@MarthaKarua May God have mercy on us ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ It’s done
The Deputy President William Ruto was Monday declared winner of Kenya’s hard-fought presidential poll but the announcement was mired in controversy after several members of the election commission rejected the results.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto had won almost 7.18 million votes (50.49 percent) in the August 9 vote, against 6.94 million (48.85 percent) for his rival Raila Odinga.
“I stand before you despite intimidation and harassment. I have done my duty according to the laws of the land,” Chebukati said.
“In accordance with the law, I… hereby declare that Ruto William Samoei has been duly elected as the president.”
After the results were announced, he vowed to work with “all leaders” in Kenya.
“There is no room for vengeance,” Ruto said, adding: “I am acutely aware that our country is at a stage where we need all hands on deck.”
Shortly before his announcement, four out of seven IEBC commissioners said they could not recognise the results, raising rigging fears in the closely-watched poll in the East African political and economic powerhouse.
But in a shock announcement, IEBC vice chair Juliana Cherera told reporters that she and three of her colleagues could not “take ownership of the result that will be announced,” calling the process “opaque”.
“However we have an open door that people can go to court and because of the same we urge Kenyans to be peaceful because the rule of the law is going to prevail,” she added.
As confusion reigned, scuffles broke out at the IEBC’s heavily guarded national tallying centre in Nairobi, where some people were seen throwing chairs shortly before Chebukati’s announcement.
Although last Tuesday’s poll passed off largely peacefully in the regional political and economic powerhouse, memories of vote-rigging and deadly violence in 2007-08 and 2017 still loom large.
The IEBC had been under intense pressure to deliver a clean election after it faced stinging criticism of its handling of the 2017 election.
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