NAIROBI,Kenya, Jan 30 – A surprise fall-out in the National Super Alliance (NASA) was witnessed Tuesday when Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka failed to turn up for the self-proclaimed swearing-in of Raila Odinga as the People’s President.
Odinga told a mammoth crowd that had gathered for the event at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park grounds that Musyoka, who was his running mate in last year’s presidential election, would be sworn-in as his deputy at a later date.
Also missing at the much-touted event were NASA co-leaders Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula – both seen as key pillars of the Opposition alliance which boycotted the October 26 fresh presidential election.
“We’ve fulfilled our promise to take the oath of office. I want to tell you that Kalonzo, Mudavadi, and Wetangula are still with us and you will be told what happened later,” Odinga said immediately after taking his oath.
Odinga, Musyoka, Mudavadi, and Musyoka did not challenge the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the October poll at the Supreme Court unlike they did after the August 8 poll.
The four insisted that the October poll was a fraud and that the electoral agency did not conduct it in strict conformity with the law as ordered by the apex court when it nullified the August 8 presidential election.
Sources say the three leaders differed with Odinga whom they had advised not to take the oath so as to give dialogue with the ruling Jubilee Party a chance.
Nonetheless, Odinga went ahead and took oath as “President” flanked by the self-declared NASA National Resistance Movement General, Miguna Miguna.
Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang who was fully robed acted as the oath administrator.
“I Raila Amollo Odinga in full realization of the high calling assume the office of the People’s President of the Republic of Kenya do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the People and the Republic of Kenya and that I will preserve, protect, and, defend the Constitution of Kenya as by law established and all other laws of the Republic as adopted by the people of Kenya,” the 73-year-old swore.
“I will protect, uphold the sovereignty, integrity, and dignity of the people of Kenya. So help me God,” he went on.
The crowd went wild as Odinga raised the Bible aloft upon taking the unofficial oath of office, it’s wording different to that sworn by Kenyatta on November 28.
While speaking to the press ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, Musyoka emphasized the need for dialogue, while insisting that they were still consulting on the way forward regarding the planned inauguration.
“We’re still consulting and we will let you know. We must examine these issues so that we know what to do,” he said even as he claimed that his security detail had been withdrawn.
“Even worldwide people are expecting this event but what do we do when there is a complete shutdown,” he added while faulting the Communications Authority of Kenya for shutting down local news channels in a number of platforms, the most affected being free-to-air.
“We actually don’t know. Our phones could be switched off as well,” the Wiper leader speculated.
Disappointed supporters of the alliance would however hear none of the reasons cited as having warranted Musyoka’s absence at the much-publicized event with some terming him a traitor.
“Tell Musyoka he will not get our vote in 2022. We will vote for Joho in the 2022 presidential election,” a youth who attended the event thundered while referring to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho as their preferred choice to take Musyoka’s place.
As a precursor to the swearing-in, NASA last Friday released what it claimed were authentic results of the August 8 presidential election annulled by the Supreme Court.
Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) party Secretary General Geoffrey Osotsi announced that Odinga garnered 8,104,744 votes (50.24 per cent) against President Kenyatta’s 7,908,215 votes (48.92 per cent) in the election.
Siaya Senator James Orengo defended the results as “authentic, undiluted and unadulterated” saying Odinga won in 26 counties, the prisons and Diaspora.
“This is it. This is what the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has denied the people of Kenya ever since the elections were held on August 8,” Orengo said during an event held at a Nairobi hotel.
While commenting on the results, Mudavadi, the ANC leader said the “information given was too loaded,” adding “it needs time for distillation.”
Odinga and Kalonzo made no comment on the numbers.