On September 1, Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the recent general election, which was held on August 8 and returned President Uhuru Kenyattato power.
The court found that the election had been tainted by irregularities and indicated that the electoral body had conducted the elections contrary to the dictates of the constitution and polls laws.
Since then, both parties have reassured Kenyans and the international community that they will respect the Supreme Court judgment, irrespective of the ruling.
A press release issued by the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) stated that both parties had adhered to their promise by addressing a press conference to reassert their initial position.
The ruling now means that Kenyans will once again go to the ballot but this time only for the contested seat of the President. The law clearly states that a repeat poll must happen within 60 days.
KTF said everything was calm in Nairobi and all major towns, including all tourist circuit routes.
“To all our agents around the world, rest assured of normalcy and everything is running as usual. We are still in peak season for the safari circuit and we look forward to welcoming more charters to the beach sector as winter approaches in Europe,” say Mohammed Hersi, Chairman of the KTF.
The nullification of the election was a monumental moment for Kenyans, as the last disputed presidential election in 2007 ended in bloodshed with at least 1 300 people dead and 600 000 displaced, this according to New York Times.
However this time, the Kenyan political landscape, including the president, appeared to have accepted the decision, calling on supporters to follow suit.
The ruling displayed an example of judicial independence in Africa, as courts on the continent often fall under pressure from political leaders.
“It’s a historic moment showing the fortitude and courage of the Kenyan judiciary,” said Dickson Omondi, a Country Director for the National Democratic Institute, a nonpartisan organisation that supports democratic institutions and practices worldwide, according to the New York Times.
Wausi Walya, Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager for the Kenya Tourism Board, told Tourism Update that she anticipated that the re-election would not impact tourism in any form. “It will not affect movement in and out of Kenya…and it has not affected business in any way.”
Walya added that Kenya’s judicial system was strong.