Ever since the handshake took place on the steps of Harambee House in March 2018, an underlying fear amongst Raila supporters has always been that he is probably being taken for a ride, and that when all is said and done, he might be left in tears. However, during last week’s memorable High Court ruling, it came out that the exact opposite of these concerns may actually be the case.
For the first time, the possibility that Uhuru is the one being used by his handshake partner appeared true.
One thing that stood out starkly in the ruling is that, while Raila Odinga remains a private citizen with no duties and obligations, the president is the holder of a Constitutional office, and a dereliction of his duties will very well result in legal Judicial reprimanding, or legal consequences, or both, as was the case on Thursday.
President Uhuru was adversely mentioned in the lengthy ruling, but more so, on three main fronts.
The most pronounced one was that, though he may be a Kenyan citizen too, and enjoys all the rights that come with this, he is also the president, and so, because of this, he won’t be able to do some things that a normal citizen can do, such as kick start a popular Initiative, in the quest for constitutional change.
He was found to have failed the integrity test on this front. While spearheading a popular Initiative isn’t in itself illegal, or criminal, it is unethical. According to the Constitution, the holder of a public office should conduct him, or herself, in a way that brings honour to the office.
Uhuru was found to have acted in a dishonourable way.
However, more damning was the pronouncement that the president went ahead to also commit illegal acts.
Formation of the Building Bridges Initiative steering committee, which was found to be illegal, was one of the grounds which opened up the president to the criminal liability accusations which were pronounced against him.