NAIAROBI, Kenya (ViaNews) – The Kenyan elections debacle is set for another twist following the decision by the National Super Alliance (NASA) to defy the government’s warning and proceed with the swearing-in of its leader Raila Odinga set for Tuesday in Nairobi.
Kenyan presidential election comments
Odinga, who was a prime candidate in the August 8, 2017, elections, boycotted the re-run of the presidential elections in October 2017 following the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win. Consequently, the boycott paved way for President Kenyatta’s landslide win after sealing 98% of the total votes.
NASA’s move comes on the backdrop of a huge fire that engulfed Kijiji area of Lang’ata (Nairobi), a place where Odinga enjoys a huge following. Investigations are still ongoing to determine the root cause of the fire.
NASA leadership had earlier last week indicated that Odinga’s swearing-in would go on at the scheduled venue of Uhuru Park, Nairobi. This is despite the county government declaring that the venue is closed down for renovations. As of Monday, tenders for the works have not been published to support this directive.
These developments have drawn mixed reactions from Kenyans affiliated to either side of the divide. Natasha Ogange a marketer based in Nairobi believes that this political whirlwind is long overdue.
“What happened yesterday (in Lang’ata) is so unfortunate because four people lost their lives and families are displaced. Some people say that is politically instigated. I cannot tell for now because investigations are still underway. Honestly, I am one of their (NASA) supporters but I believe that our country comes first. I would not like to see a repeat of what happened in the 2007 election violence and our security agents should perform their roles without brutality,” she explained to VIaNews.
Kelly Mutiso, an ardent supporter of the government is against NASA’s move altogether. “I believe that the swearing-in ceremony is not in order because we already elected our president. Those leaders should just come together because we all want to contribute to nation building. That is the way forward for our country,” he stressed to ViaNews.
In an unexpected move, Nairobi County Senator Johnston Sakaja, who is affiliated to the government’s ruling party Jubilee, was of the view that NASA should be allowed to conduct their business without interruption. His argument is that the swearing-in would not have an impact as it would not shift powers to Odinga.
The police on the other hand through Nairobi County Commander Japheth Koome remained firm in on its stance that Uhuru Park will be a no-go zone for the entire public.
“Whoever is thinking of going to Uhuru Park, tell him or her not to attempt. I will be accused of omission if I fail to stop the meetings. I will, therefore, ensure that there is no breach of peace,” the Nairobi police told Standard Newspaper.
NASA leadership have made it clear that Odinga would be the ‘People’s President’ under the flagship of National Resistance Movement. The impact of this move remains to be seen even as the country braces to face another wave of uncertainty.