News Brief

Kenyans Will Vote Again After the Supreme Court Ruled to Annul Election Results

The Supreme Court has annulled the results of Kenya's election, and a new one is set to be held within the next 60 days.

NAIROBI—The Kenyan Supreme Court has moved to annul last month's elections in which incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, was declared the winner with a margin of 1.4 million votes by the electoral commission.


Opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, contested the result soon after, claiming that the election had been rigged, and demanding a new vote.

His complaints were heard earlier today, as members of the supreme court stated that the election process was, indeed, not in-line with the standards described out in the constitution. Justice Maraga, cited "irregularities in the transmission of results" as the primary reasoning for the court's decision to declare it "invalid, null and void." A re-run is set to occur within the next 60 days.

According to BBC Africa, the supreme court's ruling is considered the first time that a challenge from an opposition court to a presidential ruling has been successful.

Odinga called the ruling "a historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension for the people of the continent of Africa," and lambasted the actions of the electoral commission, stating he had "no faith at all in the electoral commission as currently constituted."

While Kenyatta expressed some disappointment with the nullification, he vowed to respect the court's ruling and urged his supporters to remain respectful towards the law and one another.

"Your neighbour will still be your neighbour, regardless of what has happened. My primary message today to every single Kenyan is peace. Let us be people of peace," he said in a speech.

"We are ready to go back again to the people with the same agenda that we delivered to the people."

Though many in the international sphere we're looking to Kenya to be a model for free and fair elections on the continent, the August 8 election was riddled with controversy from the start, mostly stemming from instances of election fraud and failed voting systems during prior elections, and the mysterious death of IT manager Chris Msando, just days before he was to unveil a new voting system.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: JAE5 Is Crafting London's Distinct Diasporic Sound

We talk to the buzzing producer about his Grammy win alongside Burna Boy, his work with J Hus and the ever-looming influence of Ghana.