Do not despair, swearing-in still on: Raila

By Daily Nation

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The National Super Alliance (Nasa) will Sunday release its programme for the swearing-in ceremony of its leader Raila Odinga and his August 8 election running mate Kalonzo Musyoka.

Mr Odinga told mourners in Vihiga County that he would no longer engage in dialogue with the Jubileecoalition as it was not keen on meeting the opposition for the talks.

Speaking during the burial of 16 accident victims in a mass grave, Mr Odinga warned that his patience to engage in dialogue had run out.

TALKS

He said the Nasa team that is planning for his swearing-in ceremony will release the programme on Sunday.

“Ambassadors, church leaders and the business community asked us (Nasa principals) to put on hold our plans for the swearing-in to allow for dialogue, and we did.

“Since then, (President) Uhuru Kenyatta has been boasting around. He believes we are calm. Our patience is running out. We must reach Canaan,” Mr Odinga, who was flanked by fellow Nasa principal Musalia Mudavadi, said.

DEMOCRACY
In a separate Christmas and New Year message, Mr Odinga assured those who were disappointed by the postponement of the swearing-in fete that the programme is still on course.

“We cannot and shall not go back to dictatorship. We promise you that you can now look forward confidently to our swearing-in ceremony very early in the New Year,” Mr Odinga said in a statement to newsrooms.

According to him, Nasa had trusted some unnamed interlocutors who postponed the swearing-in ceremony.

“Unfortunately, and true to our fears, the interlocutors that we gave the benefit of doubt are the same ones now singing Mr Kenyatta’s tune that we need to talk only about development and Vision 2030,” he said.

This could point to religious leaders who recently called for national conversations on Vision 2030 and development.

JAMHURI DAY
Mr Odinga also said that the New Year would see more regions convene People’s Assembly after the coast did so on December 17.

“Through the People’s Assembly process, we are breathing life into the foundation of our Constitution, namely the supremacy of the Constitution and the sovereignty of the people,” he said.

Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka had been scheduled to be sworn in as President and Deputy President on Jamhuri Day.

The ceremony, it later emerged, would have taken place at Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa County.

Local Governor Hassan Joho had allegedly offered to host Mr Odinga and his team.

AG MUIGAI’S THREATS
It was Mr Mudavadi who announced the surprise about-turn days before Jamhuri Day at the Okoa Kenya offices in Nairobi but said he would make public the reasons for the move the following day.

“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 public that the swearing-in of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka as President and Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, and the launch of the People’s Assembly, scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, have been postponed,” he said.

Speaking on Saturday, Mr Odinga laughed off threats by Attorney General Githu Muigai that he would be charged with “high treason” if he dared take the oath.

“I want to tell Githu to go tell that to his mother. I have once been charged with treason. If this is what must happen for electoral justice to be realised, we are ready,” Mr Odinga said.

Other leaders at the funeral included Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo, Vihiga Senator George Khaniri, MPs Ernest Ogesi (Vihiga), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), Charles Gimose (Hamisi) and Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya).