TJ Kajwang: The man who swore in the ‘people’s president’ tells it all...

Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang during Raila's mock 'swearing-in' ceremony at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.
Ruaraka Member of Parliament Tom Kajwang acted as the defacto Chief Justice during Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s mock swearing-in on January 30, 2018.

A year later, he remembers it like it was yesterday. In his own words, it was an “extraordinary day.”

A bible in his hands, ‘bile in his stomach and an adrenaline rush’ he could not shake off due to excitement, the legislator clad in a full courtroom attire together with NASA’s foot soldiers marched to a fully packed Uhuru Park to birth the 'people’s president'.

But, the crowd was boisterous. In an Interview, he told KTN News that “somewhere along the line, policemen just disappeared and let the crowd take control. It was hectic.”

They were not planning on confrontation with the police seeing as nothing good bore of such situations.

The team was in constant communication with Opposition Chief Raila Odinga but then, trouble began. “There were problems amongst the NASA principals (referring to Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-K’s Moses Wetangula),” Kajwang recalls.

However, the job had to be done. A half-smiling Kajwang said, “This thing needed balls and balls shrank that day,” recalling the intrigues behind the dramatic ceremony.

When Raila finally took oath, he could not hide his joy. “It was electric. It was done. I felt some warmth and a level of satisfaction and coolness.”

Opposition Leader Raila Odinga holds a bible as he takes a symbolic presidential oath of office in Nairobi, Kenya on January 30, 2018. [Reuters]
The elephant in the room had greyed. To Kajwang, he felt as if the country was being liberated right there and then.

But as fate would have it, TJ Kajwang was arrested by flying squad officers on January 31, for his role in the controversial Raila Odinga’s oath.

He was one of the lawyers at the centre of the ‘swearing-in’ ceremony, an event organized by National Super Alliance. However, he was not sorry for participating in Raila’s oath taking.

A text message to newsrooms said, “If my arrest and prosecution will be the ultimate price I must pay for my role in the swearing of the People's President, so be it. That will be a small price to pay compared to what Raila Amolo Odinga has paid all his life for political justice in this country”.

The Uhuru Park event that declared Raila as the People’s president was termed as a well-choreographed attempt to overthrow a legally constituted Government by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.

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Ruaraka MP TJ KajwangRaila Mock Swearing inRaila's swearing inmiguna migunaRaila Odinga