Kenya's opposition swears in Raila Odinga as 'people's president'

State House Nairobi

State House Nairobi

National Super Alliance (Nasa) co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang'ula and Musalia Mudavadi have released a statement after skipping the swearing in ceremony of Raila held on Tuesday at Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi.

It added: "It is a brazen attempt at muzzling the press and denying the people of Kenya and the rest of the world the right to know what was going on on a day that was packed with anxiety and apprehension as to what would happen in light of threats by state security".

Hours later, the government outlawed the opposition's National Resistance Movement, with Interior Minister Fred Matiangi declaring it an organized criminal group.

On Monday, Linus Kaikai, chairman of the Kenya Editors' Guild, said editors had been warned by authorities that they could be shut down if they covered the event.

The event may be marred by violence, with police saying that the gathering is unlawful as they have received no notice of a registered political event.

It also came as outrage hit the media fraternity after government allegedly warned broadcasters not to cover the event, and pulled major television network Citizen TV off the air mid-morning.

The lawyer and MP who swore Odinga in - TJ Kajwang - was arrested yesterday afternoon and was being investigated for his role in the ceremony, according to a senior police officer speaking on condition of anonymity.

First was an election on August 8, won by Kenyatta, which was annulled in a historic decision by the Supreme Court, which ordered a re-run on October 26.

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Even more alarming, officials said this was not the first such mix-up for the employee. "We did ask for voluntary cooperation". The recording otherwise used language that is typically used for a real threat, including the words: " This is not a drill ".

Since the October repeat election and Kenyatta's inauguration, the country has mostly stabilized, with many Kenyans breathing a sigh of relief that the period of political uncertainty had ended.

In 2017, over 1,000 people were killed in clashes following the 2007 election after Odinga -defeated by then - President Mwai Kibaki - claimed the vote was rigged.

But in Odinga's strongholds, which are mostly composed of his Luo tribe and other allied ethnic groups, there has been enormous frustration with Kenyatta's government.

"As religious leaders, we are foreseeing the swearing-in of Raila bringing chaos which is likely to cause the deaths of many if something is not done urgently", Mechumo said. Police were withdrawn without explanation at Uhuru Park.

Tension is rising across Kenya and other countries in East Africa as defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga prepares his "inauguration". "We are suffering as Kenyans. Raila has to be sworn in whether they like it or not", said Kennedy Omondi, who came to Tuesday's demonstration from Nairobi's Mathare slum.

"It's an illegal exercise that will not change anything, except to polarize the country further". "Swearing themselves in is just drama since we already have a legitimate government in place".

Kenyatta's ruling Jubilee party has dismissed Odinga's swearing-in plan as "noise".

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