Handshake killed controversial swearing-in

It’s been a year since Raila Odinga swore himself in as the People’s President. [Photo, File]

It’s been a year since Raila Odinga swore himself in as the People’s President.

As reports indicate today, he had bouts of uncertainty in the run-up to the event at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. His soldiers Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula were a no-show.

Standing next to Raila was lawyer Miguna Miguna and Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang.

In his book Treason: The Case Against Tyrants and Renegades released in Toronto, Canada on Saturday, Miguna says Raila was, in fact, against the swearing-in.

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He had developed cold feet, but his soldiers would have none of it.

Raila was having second thoughts after Kalonzo, Wetang’ula and Amani’s Musalia Mudavadi insinuated that the swearing-in might be ill-timed and should instead be called off.

Sources indicate that if government security agencies blocked Uhuru Park, the oath would have been administered in other regions like Kilifi, or at the Kenyan Embassy in Ghana or Tanzania.

But Miguna, Siaya Senator James Orengo and businessman Jimi Wanjigi urged him to keep on. The NASA leader might have had valid reasons to have second thoughts, going by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government’s threats to charge him with treason if he dared take the oath. He did.  

To Kenyans, who felt aggrieved with the outcome of the repeat Presidential polls in October 26, the oath-taking was assurance that Raila was still a force to be reckoned with.

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They showed up in droves, taking photos in a bid to keep the historic moment in memory.

TJ was touted to have violated Section 59 of the Penal Code on illegal oaths, punishable by death.

He was arrested and later released.

Police said he illegally attended an unlawful assembly and administered an illegal oath.

In the end, Raila was sworn in in the absence of Kalonzo, Wetang’ula or Mudavadi.

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Today, so much water has gone under the bridge. In fact, the Building Bridges Initiative was birthed out of the controversial event that seems to have hurt some of the politicians’ clout.

On March 9, Raila and Uhuru signed a unity deal, putting to an end the power struggle and the brewing anxiety among supporters in the Jubilee and NASA camps.

Kalonzo and Mudavadi seem to have come up for air and remained relevant in their political circles.

While there are whispers from some quarters on Kalonzo no longer being the Ukambani kingpin, Mudavadi has strived to keep his ANC party in check and maintained control of the Luhya bloc. The case is different for Wetang’ula. Only 2022 will reveal the true effects of missing the swearing in and the aftermath of the Handshake.

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Raila OdingaKalonzo MusyokaMoses Wetang’ulalawyer Miguna MigunaRuaraka MP TJ KajwangTreason: The Case Against Tyrants and RenegadesMusalia MudavadiSiaya Senator James Orengobusinessman Jimi