Kenya: Let Nasa Swear in Raila Odinga to Prevent Chaos - Atwoli

Nasa leader Raila Odinga addresses his supporters at the Homa Bay stadium in Homa Bay County on January 27, 2018.
28 January 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta should let Nasa proceed with the planned swearing-in of Nasa leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka to avoid ugly confrontation with opposition supporters, Cotu boss Francis Atwoli has said.

"We don't want the country to deteriorate into chaos because of confrontations between opposition supporters and security personnel deployed to stop the swearing-in of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka," he said on Sunday.

Mr Atwoli had earlier opposed the planned oath taking and instead lobbied for dialogue.


The Cotu boss said he had unsuccessfully pleaded with President Kenyatta to engage the opposition in dialogue to avoid unnecessary confrontations that could plunge the country into chaos.

"Since President Kenyatta does not want to meet the opposition for dialogue, he should not send the police to Uhuru Park to stop the swearing-in ceremony. He should let Nasa proceed with swearing in and then look at what (happens) next. That way, we will have peace," he said.

Mr Atwoli, who spoke at the burial of his relative Gideon Andenga in Khwisero Constituency, Kakamega County, said any attempt by security officers to violently to stop the swearing-in ceremony would ignite violence and bloodshed.

"We do not want to go that route again. If President Kenyatta does not want to meet the opposition, let him allow the swearing-in proceed. That will create peace in our country," said Mr Atwoli.

He said the outbreak of violence would further derail efforts to get the country's economy back on track and create employment opportunities.


Nasa has maintained that the Tuesday swearing-in will go on as planned.

The coalition has said it won the August 8, 2017 election and does not recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta's win.

On Saturday during a function in Homa Bay County, Nasa leaders said they are prepared for the Tuesday swearing-in.

Mr Odinga said some ambassadors had asked him to cancel the plans to avoid international sanctions. But he dismissed them and said he was fighting for electoral justice.

Envoys and other leaders in Kenya have asked Mr Odinga to cancel the oath plans.


Mr Atwoli also pleaded with President Kenyatta to engage in dialogue with the opposition over their demands for electoral reforms, to maintain peace and unity in Kenya.

"I'm appealing to President Kenyatta to let the opposition proceed with the swearing in and later invite us to mediate so that Kenyans can remain united," he said.

The Cotu boss also urged the President to nominate more women in his Cabinet.

He said Mr Kenyatta should reserve the remaining slots for women.

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