Nasa to unveil ‘assumption of office’ team in Raila oath plan

Thursday January 11 2018

Nasa leader Raila Odinga

Nasa leader Raila Odinga speaks on his swearing-in plans during a church service at St Peter's Nyamira on December 25, 2017. PHOTO | NELCON ODHIAMBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By SAMWEL OWINO
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By PATRICK LANG'AT
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The opposition National Super Alliance is this week expected to unveil the faces of individuals who will be responsible for the ‘assumption of office’ of its leader Raila Odinga.

Nasa has set January 30 as the day Mr Odinga and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka will be sworn in as the ‘people’s president’ and deputy, respectively.

Nation has learnt that the ‘assumption of office’ team was to be unveiled on Friday during a two-day retreat of all elected opposition leaders in Naivasha but the meeting was cancelled  yesterday.

It remains unclear whether the team would still be unveiled in the wake of the postponement of the retreat.

National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi on Wednesday referred Nation to the technical committee led by Nasa strategist David Ndii for details on the swearing-in plans.

“There is a committee specifically dealing with the swearing-in programme, their members have the details, but again they may not want to make the faces of the team dealing with the assumption of office known at this time,” Mr Mbadi said.

SWEARING-IN

A senior ODM official Wednesday told Nation that Nasa had already identified the ‘assumption of office’ team and they could be unveiled in Nairobi on Friday.

It is still, however, not clear how the swearing-in of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka will take place as the Constitution provides in Article 141 that the President should be sworn in in public before the Chief Justice, or in his absence, the Deputy Chief Justice.

That is what happened on November 28 during the swearing-in of President Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, for their second term.

Chief Justice David Maraga had already presided over the swearing-in of President Kenyatta at Kasarani stadium.

Under the Assumption of the Office of President Act, the swearing-in should take place in Nairobi on a date and at a place to be designated by the committee that oversees the process and published in the Kenya Gazette. It should take place between 10am and 2pm.

'PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT

It is not stated in the law but with State House as the official residence of the President, there would also arise the question of where Mr Odinga would live as a ‘people’s president’.

When President Kenyatta was sworn in on April 9, 2013, he proceeded to State House, Nairobi, the official seat of power. After the State luncheon, he escorted his predecessor, Mwai Kibaki, out of the building in a symbolic handover. Former President Daniel arap Moi was airlifted out of State House in January 2003 when Mr Kibaki took over.

On Wednesday, Wiper chairman Kivutha Kibwana said the Nasa retreat had been postponed but insisted that the planned swearing-in would go in if President Kenyatta’s government does not agree to dialogue.

“The planned Nasa retreat has been postponed by consensus to allow for the election of women legislators in their group,” Prof Kibwana said after a meeting chaired by Mr Musyoka at Wiper headquarters.