Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Tension in Kenya as opposition leader Raila Odinga is sworn in as “People’s President” (Photos - Video)

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday was sworn in as “the people’s president” during a mock inauguration protesting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s new term after months of deadly election turmoil.

Odinga took the symbolic presidential oath of office holding a Bible over his head in front of thousands of ecstatic supporters.

“I, Raila Omolo Odinga, do swear that I will protect the nation as people’s president, so help me God,” he said as the crowd cheered.

The Kenyan police had earlier fired teargas to disperse thousands of opposition supporters gathering in central Nairobi to celebrate the planned swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga.




The government cut live transmission of the country’s top three TV channels as a huge crowd of tens of thousands gathered in a Nairobi park for the event. Kenyatta had “expressly threatened to shut down and revoke the licenses of any media house” that aired live broadcasts, the Kenya Editors Guild said in a statement.

Odinga says he, and not President Uhuru Kenyatta, is the country’s rightful leader.

He lost an August 8 presidential election that was nullified by the Supreme Court, and boycotted a repeat poll on October 25, 2017, saying it would not be free and fair.

Violence erupted after the re-election of Kenyatta on August 13, 2017, leaving at least 24 people dead nationwide, a rights group said.

The victims included a 9-year-old girl, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Relatives said the victims were shot dead in various parts of the nation, including 17 in the capital of Nairobi, the group said.

Allegations of vote-rigging have sparked concerns, with some Kenyans fearing ethnic clashes similar to those triggered a decade ago.

Though Kenya’s last election in 2013 was mainly peaceful, the country plunged into widespread violence in the aftermath of the 2007 vote.

No fewer than 1,000 people were killed in months of bloodshed following the 2007 election after Odinga –defeated by then-President Mwai Kibaki — claimed the vote was rigged.

Odinga first changed his Twitter bio, describing himself as the “President of the Republic of Kenya,” just like Kenyatta. Then later changed it to "People's President of the Republic of Kenya"




See more photos from the swearing in ceremony.


 Watch the ceremony below..






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