By Njoroge Kaburo and David Musyoka
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Africa Union
(AU) on Thursday called for free, fair and peaceful elections in
Kenya and lauded the Judiciary for its preparedness in
resolution of poll disputes.
during a meeting with Chief Justice David Maraga and President
Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, the AU Election Observer mission, led
by former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki who was accompanied
by AU Chairman Moussa Faki expressed confidence the Aug. 8
elections will be peaceful.
During the meeting
with chief justice, Mbeki said those dissatisfied with election
results should seek arbitration from the courts.
The team said the AU
was following the Kenyan elections keenly and stressed the need
for strict observation of the law so that the elections can be
free and fair.
They said they were
in the country to demonstrate their solidarity with Kenya as it
goes into the general election, saying that they have met with
various groups including politicians and the electoral body,
They called for
respect for justice by all actors, arguing that failing to do so
would be bad for the country.
During the meeting,
Justice Maraga said the Judiciary had taken various measures
that include designating magistrates who will deal with election
related matters and amending the Supreme Court (Presidential
Election Petition) Rules 2017, which are expected to be gazetted
“The Judiciary is
doing everything possible to ensure elections are held within
constitutional timelines. We are doing our part, the best way we
can,” Maraga said.
During the meeting
with Kenyatta, the Kenyan leader told the AU mission that the
opposition was engaged in a blatant campaign to force a
postponement of August elections to subvert the will of Kenyans.
A statement issued
after the meeting said Kenyatta spoke of a pattern of actions by
opposition leaders that demonstrated their resolve to sabotage
He said the
opposition is aiming for chaos and is not interested in a fair
contest where voters chose the victorious.
persistently declared that we are ready to accept the will of
the people, but the opposition adamantly refuses to submit
itself to that commitment.
“The reason is
“Subversion of the
will of Kenyans,” he said.
The President also
informed Mbeki’s team that the opposition’s attack on those in
charge of securing the country as well as the elections, was a
clear sign of their intention to cause chaos.
of securing the elections and the country lies with the
government,” said the President as he promised that the
elections will be free, fair, transparent, credible and
Kenyatta said he has
made many compromises during the preparations for the election,
but one thing he will not accede to is a change of the polls
He said elections
must take place on Aug. 8 as provided for by the Constitution
and anything less would be a subversion of the people’s will.
The AU chairperson
said Kenya’s stability is crucial for the region and the
continental body wants the country to have a peaceful election.