16 August 2017

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta's Swearing-in Plan Put On Hold

Photo: Kanyiri Wahito/The Nation
Members of the Assumption of Office of the President sub-committee inspect Kasarani stadium ahead of the swearing-in of the President.

Preparations for the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta for a second term have now been halted after Nasa co-principal Raila Odinga said he will challenge his election at the Supreme Court.

However, should President Kenyatta's win be upheld by the seven-judge court, the Head of State will still be sworn in on September 12 which is the first Tuesday after seven days following the Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court has 14 days to determine a presidential elections petition, which must be filed by close of business on Friday.

The oath of office, the law says, will take place in a public place not earlier than 10am and not later than 2pm and it is to be administered by the Registrar of the Judiciary in the presence of the Chief Justice.

On Wednesday, a committee on the assumption of office of the President was preparing for the big day with plans to accommodate at least 100,000 people at the newly-refurbished Kasarani Stadium.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

While only 60,000 people can fit in the stadium, the planning committee also plans to use the 2,500-seater Indoor Arena, and mount giant screens outside the stadium but within the facility's compound for thousands of Kenyans expected at the ceremony.

The 22-man committee, in case Mr Odinga wins the Supreme Court case and a subsequent poll is to be conducted, will drop three members who will be replaced by others chosen by the Opposition leader.

On Wednesday, a sub-committee of the 22-member assumption of office team chaired by Secretary to the Cabinet Joseph Kinyua, visited Kasarani Stadium to inspect the premises and plan for the swearing-in.

"We are working to ensure that everyone who wants to come to the swearing-in will be safe. We are planning for 100,000 people," said Mr Joseph Irungu, the principal administrative secretary in the Ministry of Interior.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

The assumption of office committee also has the Attorney-General, the Cabinet Secretary under whose docket the registration of persons and immigration falls.

Also in the team are principal secretaries whose functions cover security, finance, foreign affairs, Information, Communication and Technology, constitutional affairs, Cabinet office, local government, and culture and social services.

The committee will also have the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, Director-General of the National Intelligence Service, the Inspector-General of Police, the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Senate, three people nominated by the President-elect, and Secretary in charge of intergovernmental relations among others.

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