Willy Mutunga: Why I Was Happy Raila Accepted 2013 Presidential Verdict

  • Undated image of Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during a court seating while he served as the Chief Justice.
    Undated image of Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during a court seating while he served as the Chief Justice.
    The Standard
  • Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga on Tuesday, October 12, revealed that he was relieved when opposition leader Raila Odinga accepted the Supreme Court’s judgment following the 2013 presidential petition.

    During an interview on a local TV channel, Mutunga stated that he had sleepless nights after the then Coalition for Reforms and Democracy(CORD) challenged the election of  President Uhuru Kenyatta. He noted that the court attracted both local and international attention.

    In spite of being aware that their decision wouldn’t please everyone in the country, Mutunga revealed that he was afraid of Kenyans' reaction.

    Undated image of ODM leader Raila Odinga addressing the media outside the Supreme Court building
    Undated image of ODM leader Raila Odinga addressing the media outside the Supreme Court building
    Daily Nation

    "In 2013, my personal fear, I don’t know about the other judges, was because I knew about this decision. I slept soundly when Raila as a great statesman then, stated that he accepted the decision although he didn’t agree with it," Mutunga revealed.

    He went ahead to explain that his greatest fear was a repeat of the aftermath of the 2007 election , adding that a section of Kenyans would have vented their anger on them.

    "If he (Raila) had stated what he had asserted in 2007, maybe we would have been hanged at Uhuru park. You never know with politicians. I generally had the fear whether the opposition was going to accept that decision," he explained.

    The former CJ also defended their decision to uphold the election of Uhuru, dispelling aspersions that there was an external influence on the court’s process.

    "I did not get any call, I wasn’t influenced in any way. None of my colleagues stated that they were being approached. It is not true that in a lot of the petitions, particularly the presidential ones, that judges would be approached. I think that if judges are approached, until they tell the chief justice or the other colleagues, it is very difficult to know,” he noted.

    Mutunga explained that the 2013 Supreme Court judges made the decision based on the arguments made in the court and the evidence that was presented. He added that that the same would apply if the 2022 presidential result is challenged before the court.

    "I am sure CJ Koome would sleep soundly. You know when you are in the Supreme Court, it is the argument. You wait for the evidence and you decide. All they would know is that the ultimate decision would not be applauded by the entire country. That is what every judge in the supreme court knows," he asserted.

    The retired CJ further revealed the judges engage in a lot of activities before delivering the final judgment.

    “Remember that they have law clerks and people who help them to research issues during those 14 days. It is collective intellect. A lot of work is done. I think the focus is the eye on the price...This is how it works," Mutunga disclosed.

    An undated file image of the Kenya Supreme Court
    An undated file image of the Kenya Supreme Court
    Kenyans.co.ke
    File