Raila Odinga 'swearing-in' on course, Salim Lone says

Wednesday December 6 2017

Raila Odinga

Nasa leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | AFP 

By COLLINS OMULO
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Opposition leader Raila Odinga's planned swearing-in ceremony is on course, his adviser Salim Lone has said.

Mr Lone rebuffed claims that the December 12 ceremony is illegal, saying the oath will help prevent further polarisation in the country by giving Kenyans hope for electoral justice denied them under the electoral commission.

JUSTICE

It will also give an impetus for the people’s assemblies to push for economic and justice issues in the country, the adviser said in a written statement.

Mr Lone added that Mr Odinga is open to dialogue if it is between equals as was the case in 2008 between President Mwai Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

However, he said, the talks must have an agreed agenda, which should also include electoral justice.

“Mr Odinga has also always been open to a dialogue. Before this election he sought it to ensure that it would be credibly done, but there was no interest in the dialogue nor in holding an honest election.

“He has repeatedly indicated his willingness to enter into a dialogue even now, if it is held between equals,” Mr Lone said. 

The statement comes against the backdrop of a call by the United States urging the opposition leader to call off the planned swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, saying the move would polarise the country further.

SANCTIONS

Donald Yamamoto, an official with the US government’s Bureau of African Affairs, on Tuesday indicated that defiant individuals may face unspecified sanctions from President Donald Trump’s administration.

But Mr Lone said the country was already polarised as a result of flawed electoral processes in August and October.

Mr added that Mr Odinga was committed to pursuing constitutional and peaceful means for resolving issues and crimes against Kenyans including the brutal torture and killing of IEBC Information and Technology chief Chris Msando and the killing of unarmed Kenyans during the electioneering period.
“Mr Odinga is holding the country together through his commitment to pursuing constitutional and peaceful means to resolving issues and crimes against Kenyans that have brought us to this sorry and explosive state,” he said.