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Kenya’s Raila sets date to “lift the Bible and be sworn into office”

Raila Odinga. Courtesy Photo.

Raila Odinga, the leader of Kenya’s opposition, has announced January 30 as his swearing-in date as the ‘people’s president’.

He has vowed not bow to pressure from his supporters who earlier expected a casual ‘swearing-in’, saying he will follow a strict programme drawn by his advisers.

“It is not about carrying the Bible alone. We must have a plan after the Bible. We don’t want to be like (Ugandan opposition leader Kizza) Besigye, who took oath without a plan.” Raila Odinga said, according to Daily Nation – Kenya.

Together with other Nasa leaders, Raila announced a nationwide campaign to build momentum for the swearing-in which will also see his deputy Kalonzo Musyoka, ‘take office.’

Mr Odinga said the campaign will focus on electoral reforms, judicial independence, the transformation of the police from a force to a service, strengthening of devolution, and restructuring the Executive.

Following an interview with ‘confidential sources”, the Star – Kenya on 5 January reported that the controversial oath ceremony is treasonous and punishable by death.

It is not clear if the swearing in will be followed by the establishment of a parallel government, the news outlet further reported.

“Raila’s swearing-in is on steady course and the ceremony will ‘be the biggest event that Kenya has seen since independence,” one renowned economist in Kenya, David Ndii told the Star – Kenya.

On 25 December, an elderly woman in Kenya made news when she attempted to have Odinga take oath of office as the people’s president at a church in Bondo – Kenya.

The woman, carrying a Bible, shot up from the congregation and approached the Opposition leader, insisting that he must take the oath.

There were ululations as a smiling Raila, apparently not keen in disappointing the woman, took the Bible but just smiled and assured the congregation that he would take the oath at a later date.

Raila said he would not give up on his quest to reclaim what he termed stolen victory.

In August last year, Kenya’s supreme court overturned the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing irregularities in the election.

A six-judge bench, by majority decision, found that the electoral commission failed to conduct the polls according to the Constitution and the applicable principles.

A rerun was held on 26 October, and to the shock of many Kenyan’s Raila Odinga withdrew from the polls, demanding for among others changes in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

It is here that President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner by a landslide, granting him a second term in office. The election commission said that Kenyatta had garnered over 98% of the vote, a total of 7.4 million votes.

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