Figurative language is one of the styles in language. Lawyers known for great mastery of the Queen’s language were not left behind in the use of figurative speech at the Supreme Court of Kenya during the presidential election petition hearing.
Here are some of the quotable ones:
1. PLO likening the elections to delivering a baby
“The only decision that I arrived at is that the people of the republic of Kenya on the 8th day of August did express their will and the first and second respondents did midwife. Remember your lordships and ladyships, ours is midwifery, we deliver the baby, that baby is alive and well. You are being invited to strangle the baby, decline the invitation, because the baby is alive and well.”
2. James Orengo likening his reports to smoking guns
“My lord, I just want to say that somebody was talking about smoking guns. The two reports that the court has accepted which are the ones officially sanctioned by the court are two smoking guns. I was adding two more smoking guns but according to your directions I have pulled them out. I think the two smoking guns are as good as even one smoking gun.”
3. Fred Ngatia on Uhuru’s extended hand of fellowship
“The other reality presented by the third respondent is this, my Lord, to allow the third respondent move on with constituting a government. He has offered a hand of fellowship to the petitioner, offered a hand of fellowship to all Kenyans that it is a time to go back to nation building of this great nation. I paraphrase without the eloquence of the third respondent that the time of elections are over, let us go back to building this nation.”
4. Paul Muite likening IEBC server firewalls to ‘mtego wa panya’
“…because of the super security features in this system, it took time to access, in simple language it is like ‘mtego wa panya’ in city park as used to be. When you go to the door you can’t go to the center until you go round all the paths. It takes time to get round the firewall and access.
That was the challenge. That was a big set up by our service providers. So it took time not us refusing. The fact that it took such a long time is evidence of the security features in the system which then demolishes the suggestion that anybody would have hacked…”