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I’ll take oath on Jamhuri Day, Raila assures NASA supporters

POLITICS
By Roselyne Obala and Luke Anami | November 29th 2017
NASA leaders carry crosses during short memorial service in Kibera on 28th November, 2017. Nasa claims 28 people died during Raila Odinga's arrival from US

Opposition chief Raila Odinga yesterday publicly announced he would be sworn in as the “people’s president” on December 12.

Police sealed off Jacaranda grounds in Nairobi, scuttling a plan by Raila and his National Super Alliance (NASA) to hold a memorial service for 27 supporters they claim have been killed by police during violent street protests.

“I will be sworn in as President of Kenya on Jamhuri Day (December 12) through the people’s assembly, and go to State House. We will meet to discuss the matter and direct on the way forward,” Raila said hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration for a second term.

Raila, who joined his supporters at the junction of Outer Ring and Jogoo roads, after hours of closed-door meetings at Capitol Hill and another at Panari Hotel, assured them that he was ready for anything in his quest for electoral justice.

“You know me very well, I am not a coward. We are not going to be inaugurated in the same way Kizza Besigye was sworn-in in Uganda. We will be sworn in the same way that Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in,” Raila told supporters.

“We will be sworn in and go to State House that very day.”

Raila claimed he won the presidential election on August 8 but was denied victory by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“In August we held an election. We got to know the results, which indicated we had won by more than 8 million votes, but IEBC decided to announce fake results. The officials even declined to open their servers as ordered by the Supreme Court,” Raila said.

“However, the Supreme Court annulled the results and directed the electoral commission to hold a repeat election. They went ahead and held one on October 26, where we told our people to stay away.”

The IEBC declared Uhuru the winner of the August 8 presidential polls with 8.2 million votes against Raila’s 6.4 million, but the Opposition leader successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the results.

“We don’t recognise Uhuru’s presidency. We are going to the people’s assembly and will announce the way forward soon that will culminate in the swearing-in on Jamhuri Day.”

The memorial service, which was scheduled to kick off at the Jacaranda grounds in Embakasi East from 11am, failed to take off after police cordoned off the venue. Unknown people poured raw sewage at the grounds.

Residents engaged police in running battles from morning in an attempt to access the grounds.

The event was meant to coincide with the Uhuru’s inauguration.

At 2.20pm, Raila, Musalia Mudavadi, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, MPs Babu Owino (Embakasi East), John Mbadi (Suba South) and Alfred Agoe (Sabati), women reps Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Esther Passaris (Nairobi), Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang, Kanchori Memusi (Kajiado Central) and Abdulswamad Nasir (Mvita) among others were part of the gathering.

Police blocked the entrance to Jacaranda and when the Opposition leaders stopped to address their supporters before making their way to the venue, they were tear gassed as Raila finished his speech and Musalia was about to speak.

Earlier, Raila was interviewed by international media ahead of the President’s swearing-in. He dismissed the exercise as a ‘mere’ coronation, stressing that it would not be business as usual without electoral justice.

“I would actually call it coronation rather than inauguration because we do not believe he has been legitimately elected as the leader of Kenya,” he said.

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