Kenya’s opposition supporters began the day with song and dance at the venue where their leader, Raila Odinga, has said he will be “sworn in” as alternative president later on Tuesday.
The country has been tense since Kenya’s incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won 98 percent of the vote in a repeated election in which an opposition boycott helped lower turnout to 39 percent in October. Odinga pulled out of the vote, saying the electoral commission had failed to institute reforms to forestall the kind of “illegalities and irregularities” that scampered Kenyatta’s victory in the August election.
An opposition supporter, Larry Oyugi said they are abiding by the law.
We are citizens of this country, we are allowed to peacefully assemble here and elect our president as per the constitution.
“Because we had warned the police enough and we are also going as per the constitution. As you are aware the constitution of Kenya article one allows all Kenyans to exercise their power directly, this is why we are here to exercise our powers by gathering here and also article 37 allows peaceful assembly. We are citizens of this country, we are allowed to peacefully assemble here and elect our president as per the constitution”,Larry said.
There was no police presence to face the early group of Odinga supporters gathering ahead of their leaders’ arrival at Nairobi’s Uhuru park ,only mild resistance coming from some bees evicted when a hive was discovered behind the main dias where leaders are due to sit.
Earlier plans for an “inauguration” of Odinga as alternative president were postponed in December.
Meanwhile, major television and radio channels in Kenya have been switched off while threats of closure have been issued by the East African nation’s regulatory authority if they broadcast the swearing in ceremony of Raila Odinga.