Johannesburg – Kenya’s controversial opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has warned that he will soon be sworn-in as the “people’s president” while scoffing at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s warning last week that anyone who undermines the country’s constitution or peace of the nation would face the full wrath of the law, Kenya’s Daily Nation reports.
While the leader of the National Super Alliance coalition (NASA) will appease millions of his supporters with this provocative move, his determination to have a counter swearing-in to the official inauguration of Kenyatta, who was sworn-in on November 28 to serve his second term in office after winning the October 26 election rerun, is likely to lead to more trouble.
Odinga had originally planned to be “sworn-in as the people’s president” on December 12 Kenya’s national Independence Day but was warned against the move by religious leaders, trade unionists and international diplomats.
The US warned that those who were responsible for refusing to negotiate the political impasse could be subject to sanctions.
Speaking after he inaugurated the Coast People’s Assembly at Sun ’N’ Sand Beach Resort in Kilifi County, Odinga on Sunday said his oath of office would happen soon, but neither he nor his party leaders would give a date.
“Nobody will stop me from lifting the Bible. It is better to stand up for the truth and die while at it, than to die lying down,” said the opposition leader.
Odour Ongwen, the chief executive director of Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement party, stated that the timetable for swearing Odinga in at a national gathering was complete.
“We will swear him in, whether they like it or not. We will do it at a national gathering where he will take the reins of power immediately,” said Ongwen.
Senator James Orengo said: “They say we cannot swear in Raila, but we are telling them we will bring forward the plan to do so soon.”
The East African country’s original elections in August, which Kenyatta won, were annulled by the Supreme Court on the grounds of electoral irregularities. Kenyatta won the rerun elections in October, but Odinga and his supporters allege fraud in the second poll too.
Political violence surrounding the impasse led to violent clashes between supporters of the opposition party and security forces with dozens killed and many more injured.
African News Agency/ANA