Raila ‘swearing-in’ postponed
The National Super Alliance (NASA) has called off the controversial ‘swearing in’ of opposition leader Raila Odinga that was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 12.
In a press conference at Okoa Kenya offices, NASA co-principal Musalia Mudavadi on Sunday evening said the opposition would announce a new date for the swearing-in and launch of the people’s assembly later.
“Following extensive internal consultations and engagement with a wide range of national and international interlocutors, the NASA leadership wishes to advise the NASA fraternity and the general public that the swearing in of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as President and Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, and the launch of The People’s Assembly scheduled for Tuesday 12 December have been postponed to a later date,” read part of the statement.
“We wish to thank the Government and people of Mombasa County who had graciously offered to host the event. Thank you very much Mombasa,” added Mudavadi, disclosing, for the first-time, that the ‘inauguration’ of Odinga was set to take place in the coastal city, a perceived opposition stronghold.
The opposition assured its supporters that it would continue pushing for electoral justice in the country, despite calling off the ‘swearing-in’ plans.
“We are aware that this will be a disappointment to the people of Kenya who were eagerly waiting for this occasion. We wish to assure them that our resolve has not changed. Specifically, we wish to reiterate that any national dialogue must have electoral justice on the agenda. We are not interested in sharing illegitimate dictatorial power,” said Mudavadi.
He added: “We shall be announcing the new dates of both the swearing in ceremony and the launch of the People’s Assembly as well as a more vigorous and prolonged resistance in the coming days”.
The press conference was attended by among other leaders Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
NASA leaders were expected to announce the venue of Odinga’s ‘swearing-in’ at 2pm on Sunday, December 10, but the pronouncement was postponed following a closed-door meeting held by a section of NASA officials including strategist David Ndii, ODM Executive Director Oduor Ongwen and NASA strategy committee member Koitamet Ole Kina at the Okoa Kenya offices.
The opposition is said to have been grappling with among other issues, whether it should proceed with the ceremony in absence of Mr Musyoka, who is in Germany attending to his wife who is still unwell. Among the options that were in consideration was to have Musyoka, who was Mr Odinga’s running mate in the August election, sworn in while in Germany or have him take the ‘oath of office’ at a later date.
Pressure was also mounting on Mr. Odinga to stop his controversial swearing-in, amid behind-the-scene talks to forestall the event, which security organs were determined to obstruct.
The opposition had left people guessing on the venue with speculations abound that the event would take place outside Nairobi in one of the opposition’s key strongholds.