The Herald (Harare)

9 April 2013

Zimbabwe: President in Nairobi for Kenyatta Inaguration

Photo: AllAfrica
Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe.

PRESIDENT Mugabe arrived here yesterday to join other Heads of State and Government for the inaguration ceremony of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya's fourth president today.

The President, who is accompanied by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and senior government officials, was met at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by ambassador to Kenya

The ceremony will be held at the Moi International Sports Centre.

President Mugabe is accompanied by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and other senior Government officials.

He was seen off yesterday at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Joice Mujuru, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Minister of State for State Security Sydney Sekeramayi, senior civil servants and service chiefs.

VP Mujuru is the Acting President.

Reports from Kenya say 25 Heads of State and Government delegations have confirmed their attendance.

President Kenyatta, who replaces President Mwai Kibaki, defeated Mr Raila Odinga to land the presidency.

He was declared duly elected President of Kenya on March 9 after he garnered 6 173 433 votes which represented 50.07 percent of the total votes cast.

Mr Odinga refused to accept the poll results which he challenged in the courts.

The Kenyan Supreme Court upheld President Kenyatta's victory in a ruling which Mr Odinga accepted.

There were incidents of violence following the ruling but the situation later normalised paving the way for President Kenyatta to preside over east Africa's biggest economy.

His victory caused discomfort in Western capitals whose leadership openly supported Mr Odinga in the run-up to the polls.

The West unsuccessfully urged Kenyans to snub President Kenyatta who stands accused of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

However, observers say Zimbabweans should closely watch developments in Kenya as there uncanny similarities between MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and Mr Odinga.

Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Odinga, the analysts said, were moulded in the same manner by their western allies and carry the same brief of politics of western appeasement as they always try to use violence to attain power.

Just like his MDC-T counterpart, Mr Odinga has tried thrice to land Kenya's top job and came short everytime twice against Mwai Kibaki and recently against president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.

Similarly Mr Tsvangirai lost to President Mugabe in 2002 and again in 2008 and analysts say Mr Tsvangirai is headed for his third, and probably final defeat in the pending elections.

Mr Odinga used to be the Mr Tsvangirai of Kenya. During his days as an opposition leader, he criticised everything and anything that the government did. He loved playing to the gallery of his Western sponsors before finding himself in an inclusive government that unmasked his rhetoric in 2008.

Kenyans, just like Zimbabweans here, got to know the real Mr Odinga when he got into government as his track record as prime minister was fraught with allegations of corruption and incompetence, just like his Zimbabwean counterpart.

Mr Odinga challenged his election loss in court alleging widespread ballot rigging, ironically in a widely hailed poll that was won again by President Kenyatta.

It is not clear if Mr Odinga and Tsvangirai are going to attend the ceremony today.

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InFocus

President Mugabe Attends Kenya Inauguration

Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe has joined several African heads of state for the inauguration ceremony of Kenya's fourth president, Uhuru Kenyatta. Read more »