Kenya opposition supporters gather for Odinga 'swearing-in'

2018-01-30 11:10
Raila Odinga (File: AFP)

Raila Odinga (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga gathered in Nairobi Tuesday ahead of a ceremony to swear him in as an alternative president, three months after he claims an election was stolen from him.

The planned "inauguration" has raised fears of violence as police had vowed not to allow the event to go ahead. However officers kept their distance as hundreds gathered at the Uhuru park venue.

Odinga, 72, a veteran opposition leader who claims he has had three elections stolen from him, has refused to accept President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election, which came after a deeply divisive 2017 polls season in which rights activists say at least 92 people were killed.

First was an election on August 8, won by Kenyatta, which was annulled in a historic decision by the Supreme Court, which ordered a re-run on October 26.

Claiming the poll would not be fair, Odinga boycotted the second vote and Kenyatta won with 98 percent.

Odinga postponed a previous effort to swear himself in last month, but his party insists Tuesday's event will take place. 

"We intend to hold a peaceful event, in total compliance with the constitution and the law," read a statement from the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

"We nonetheless wish to put the Jubilee (party) administration on notice that we will accomplish our mission come hell or high water."

While officers patrolled on horseback from a distance, police sources said a decision had been taken to avoid confrontation, after the city police chief earlier said "the grounds will be a no-go zone".

Attorney General Githu Muigai warned last month that any "swearing-in" would be treasonous, raising the possibility of Odinga's arrest, a move that would heighten tensions.

"Let them have the park and carry on with their political activities as long as it is within the law," a senior officer said.

Since boycotting the re-run poll, citing a lack of reform at the election commission, NASA's strategy has been to challenge Kenyatta's legitimacy by seeking to establish parallel government structures.

Opposition politicians have convened so-called "people's assemblies" in some counties and the inauguration of Odinga as "people's president" is seen as the culmination of this process.

Kenya's editors guild released a statement on Monday night saying that Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto had summoned media managers and editors, threatening to "shut down and revoke the licences of any media house that would broadcast live" the swearing-in.

One of the country's main television and radio broadcasters, Citizen TV - which had been covering the event - reported online mid-morning that its transmission had been switched off by the communications authority.

Read more on:    uhuru kenyatta  |  raila odinga  |  kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.