AFRICA/KENYA - Tensions for the "presidential oath" of the opposition leader, defeated in the October elections

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 politics  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "The clashes reported by international agencies refer to the early hours of the morning. At the moment the police have withdrawn from the site of the gathering", says to Agenzia Fides Fr. Don Bosco Ochieng Onyalla, Coordinator of the Catholic News Agency for Africa (CANAA) in Nairobi, where today the "investiture" ceremony as President of Kenya of Raila Odinga, in Uhuru Park of Nairobi should be held.
Odinga was defeated by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the October 26 elections, which had become necessary after the Supreme Court had canceled the results of the August elections, also won by outgoing President Kenyatta, due to irregularities. Odinga, however, boycotted the vote by calling it "a farce" and announced today, January 30, his own oath, which according to the General Prosecutor's Office could be tantamount to treason.
The police had launched tear gas against the people gathered in Uhuru Park, but now according to Fr. Don Bosco "the police have disappeared from the scene. However, the authorities have obscured the main television stations to prevent the live broadcast of the event, but many TV channels have a direct streaming service and the Internet has not been interrupted, and also the various social media work regularly", says Fr. Don Bosco.
"With these measures one probably wants to avoid serious accidents as in the recent past, when the presence of policemen and soldiers was interpreted as a provocation by the militants of Odiga, causing accidents".
Odinga has not yet been seen in public and we do not even know if he is in his residence", he adds.
"However, we hope that the dialogue wished by the Bishops will prevail", says the Coordinator of CANAA. "Unfortunately, the appeal was interpreted differently by the two leaders. The President says that the question of Kenyatta's election is over but that he is willing to speak with the opposition on issues of economic development and job creation. Odinga instead continues to insist on the fact that he said the election was a fraud", he concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 30/1/2018)