Kenyan president to be sworn-in as opposition prepares to hold rival rally



NAIROBI, Nov 28 – Kenya’s political divisions
looked set to deepen on Tuesday as security forces patrolled the
capital in preparation for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s
inauguration and opposition leaders urged supporters to attend a
rival rally.

Kenyatta won a second five-year term on Oct. 26 in a repeat
presidential election boycotted by opposition leader Raila
Odinga, who said it would not be free and fair. The Supreme
Court nullified the first presidential election, in August, over

The extended election season has divided Kenya, a Western
ally in a volatile region, and blunted growth in East Africa’s
richest economy.

Supporters of Kenyatta — who won with 98 percent of the
vote after Odinga’s boycott — are urging the opposition to
engage in talks and move on.

“Our responsibility after the political competition is to
come together and work to build the nation,” Kenyatta told a
church service on Sunday.

But Odinga supporters say they will not forgive the ruling
party, accusing it of stealing the election, rampant corruption,
directing abuse by the security forces and neglecting vast
swathes of the country, including Odinga’s heartland in the

“A return to the political backwardness of our past is more
than unacceptable. It is intolerable…This divide cannot be
bridged by dialogue and compromise,” Odinga’s National Super
Alliance opposition alliance said in a statement.

The opposition plans to hold a prayer meeting in the capital
on Tuesday, saying it wants to commemorate the lives of Odinga
supporters killed during confrontations with the security forces
over the election period.

More than 70 people have been killed in political violence
this election season, mostly by the police.

But it was unclear if authorities would allow the rally.
Nairobi County police commander Japheth Koome told Capital FM
radio on Saturday the police had not been notified about the
rally as required by law.

“Whoever thinks he has intentions to do that (hold a rally,
and), he does not involve police, wants to break the law,” he
said. “Why don’t you tell that person that the law will deal
with such a situation firmly?”

The interior ministry and police spokesmen refused to
comment on Monday when called seeking comment on whether the
rally could go ahead.