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Raila swearing-in will attract treason charge – Githu Muigai

Police will not allow any public gathering in Nairobi to swear in opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “People’s President” on Jamhuri Day.

Top security sources privy to the security plans for Jamhuri Day celebrations said police are under instructions not to allow gatherings in Nairobi except the official ceremony to be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kasarani Stadium.

This may set the stage for a confrontation between Mr Odinga’s supporters and the police as Kenya’s post-election crisis drags on.

Mr Odinga Thursday told off the United States whose top Africa envoy this week told him to shelve the plans and instead seek dialogue with President Kenyatta.

Mr Donald Yamamoto urged the opposition to drop the inauguration plans  and instead hold talks with the President to heal divisions.


Mr Odinga has maintained he will only engage in dialogue about electoral justice with an ultimate goal of going back to the election.

And Attorney-General Githu Muigai warned that should the event take place, the opposition leader will face charges of treason, which carry a mandatory death penalty.

Nasa has not revealed the venue of Mr Odinga’s swearing in or whether it will be public at all.

But police could be caught off guard if it takes place outside Nairobi.

Without giving any reason, a security source said it was unlikely that Mr Odinga will be sworn in in Mombasa.


However, in the likely event that the opposition goes ahead with the ceremony in another town, the source, who did not wish to be quoted discussing security matters, said police were under instructions to display “minimum force” unless the crowd at the swearing-in venue turns chaotic “to the extent of causing massive destruction”.

Mr Odinga has maintained that he won the August 8 presidential election and that his victory was stolen.

His successfully petitioned the result in the Supreme Court, which nullified the presidential election and called for a repeat poll on October 26.

Mr Kenyatta easily won the rerun after Mr Odinga pulled out, citing lack of electoral reforms to level the field.

The Supreme Court dismissed three petitions against the result, paving the way for Mr Kenyatta to be sworn in for his second and last term.


Mr Odinga rejected the inauguration and he has been pushing for a new election and the bid to swear him in is seen as part of his campaign for electoral reforms and a new poll.

But Prof Muigai declared any attempt to swear in Mr Odinga as president is treasonable and any persons involved in the scheme will be prosecuted.

He said the President is elected pursuant to Article 138 of the Constitution and following the repeat presidential election on October 26, whose result was affirmed by the Supreme Court on November 20, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto were sworn into office on November 28.

“Further, any person acting in violation of Article 3(2) commits a treasonable offence under Section 40 of the Penal Code. This also includes being an accessory after the fact to treason and failing to give information to designated public bodies for the purpose of preventing commission of the offence,” he warned.


Prof Muigai warned counties that have passed the people’s assembly motions, saying it was an alien term to the Constitution because it is neither established within the framework of the County Government’s Act or any other legislation.

Some 11 counties have so far passed the people’s assemblies as directed by Nasa and Mr Odinga could be sworn in in any of them.

The AG warned that by establishing people’s assemblies, the respective county assemblies may be deemed to have rescinded their elective roles, as they have handed back to the people their sovereignty as initially delegated through Article 1(3).

A defiant Mr Odinga, speaking when he met families of 16 people were killed by police in protests, accused the US and other Western countries of turning a blind eye to Kenyans who have suffered police brutality and only speaking on matters favouring the government.

Mr Odinga vowed that his swearing in on Jamhuri Day was on course despite the US terming the move unconstitutional.


“Don’t come and shout to us about violation of the Constitution … Constitution my foot! In as much as we are friends, you cannot come and decide the destiny of Kenyans. Kenyan problems can only be solved by the people of Kenya,” said Mr Odinga.

“We now know that those people that have been posing as our friends are indeed our enemies because up to today, 215 people have been killed since August 8 General Election by police yet not even one ambassador has come out to condemn the wanton killings,” he said.

“The people expressed their will on August 8 and that is the result that we know and therefore we don’t recognise the swearing-in of President Kenyatta that took place last week,” said Mr Odinga.

He said the bereaved families should be compensated by the government.

The opposition paid mortuary fees and provided transport for the bereaved families and also offered Sh50,000 to each family to help in the burial expenses.

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