Nairobi - Kenya's Supreme Court is on Saturday due to
rule whether to confirm Uhuru Kenyatta's presidential election victory or order
fresh polls in the country, still traumatised by the violence that erupted
after the previous ballot five years ago.
Kenyatta, facing international crimes against humanity
charges over the unrest that followed the 2007 election, was proclaimed the
winner of the 4 March poll, avoiding a runoff vote by just 8 000 ballots.
But the result was challenged by outgoing prime minister
Raila Odinga, who claimed the election was marred by irregularities.
If the high court upholds the election results, that
would pave the way for Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president and one of
Africa's richest men, to be sworn in on 9 April.
The court could also back Odinga and order a new
Or the panel of six judges could find that Odinga's allegations
of irregularities are founded but might declare that they were not on a scale
sufficient to render the election invalid.
Tensions have been running high ahead of the ruling - the
elections in 2007 were marred by similar complaints of fraud and descended into
tribal bloodshed that killed more than 1 100 people and caused hundreds of
thousands to flee their homes.
Police were out in force on Saturday around the building
housing the court in central Nairobi, with Kenya's police chief David Kimaiyo
warning gatherings around the court would not be tolerated.
"We have reports indicating that some parties have
organised their supporters to converge outside the Supreme Court during
delivery of the court ruling, and we will not allow any such gatherings,"
Kimaiyo said on Friday.
"There will be tight security in all parts of the
country, we will not tolerate any form of violence at all," he told a
Kenyatta has so far appeared relaxed about the court
ruling, apologising earlier this week for having spoken flippantly to
supporters of "six people" making a decision.
On Tuesday, the court rejected one of Odinga's demands -
that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission provide a forensic
audit of a computer system initially used to tally the votes that suffered
It also dismissed hundreds of pages of alleged evidence
provided by Odinga to back up allegations of irregularities, though this was
only part of the overall stack of evidence submitted.
On Monday, the court ordered a recount of votes cast at
22 polling centres - a fraction of the total votes cast in some 32 000 centres
nationwide. The results of the recount have not been released.
Official results showed president-elect Kenyatta won
50.07% of the votes - just making it over the 50% threshold needed to avoid a
second-round ballot by some 8 000 ballots.
He was declared the winner of 9 March.
Odinga has urged his supporters to remain calm while he
challenged the results and has promised to abide by the court's decision.
Kenyatta faces trial at The Hague-based International
Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the deadly
post-electoral violence in 2007.
That violence shattered Kenya's reputation as a bastion
of stability in a region beset by unrest.