Trouble is brewing in Kenya. 

A week after he was announced as president-elect, William Ruto’s newfound position is unsurprisingly being contested. 

What’s up?

Competitor and former prime minister Ralia Odinga is contesting the validity of the elections. 

Last week, it was revealed Odinga filed court petitions in Nairobi, claiming that the 2022 presidential election was rigged with technology, starting as far back as March 2022 with the intrusion of 21 people. 

According to Odinga and his running mate, attorney Martha Karua, 21 people—19 foreigners and two Kenyans—tampered with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) systems. Earlier in July, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations conducted a forensic analysis of laptops seized from three Venezuelans who were arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Kenya. The analysis revealed that one of the laptops had had remote access to the IEBC portal since March 2022.

The 45–page affidavit also accuses IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati of 12 electoral offences. As it claims, Chebukati allegedly tampered with declaration forms 34A, 34B, and 34C. 

Side bar: Form 34A, B, and C are electronic forms used to collate votes during Kenya’s presidential elections. Form 34A is used to collate votes from each polling station, and Form 34B is used to collate results from all the different polling stations in a constituency, which means there are 290 of these forms. Form 34C is the compilation of all the 34B forms. 

Odinga and Karua claim that Chebukati was uploading, reuploading, and deleting different forms even after Ruto had been declared winner of the elections.

“There was an elaborate and fraudulent premeditated scheme to interfere with and undermine and defeat the integrity, credibility and security of the presidential election. The interference was intended to alter the true results of the presidential election,” they claim.

The affidavit also claims that an unattended laptop which police officials found at the tallying centre in Bomas was connected to a network where forms 34A were being reuploaded from an external website to the IEBC portal.

A final claim from Odinga and Karua is that the announcement of the winner was made without tallying results from twenty-seven Kenyan constituencies, with 140,028 votes missing from the official results of which Ruto garnered 50.5%—7,176,141 votes—while Odinga got 48.8% (6,942,930).

Big picture: The competitors want the Supreme Court to order a forensic audit of all the Form 34A forms, and declare the results Kenyan presidential elections invalid. They also want Chebukati barred from overseeing any future elections. In a confident response, Ruto urged everyone involved to let the judiciary determine the case.