Raila Odinga's Twitter Bio Gaffe was the Highlight During His 'Swearing In'

Kelvin Reese
February 1, 2018

Kenya's interior minister said on Wednesday that opposition leader Raila Odinga's mock inauguration as "people's president" was an effort to overthrow the government, with media outlets shut down for their complicity in the event.

Kenyan Attorney General Githy Muigai previously warned that Mr Odinga would face treason charges if he proceeded with the ceremony.

"I, Raila Omolo Odinga, do swear that I will protect the nations as people's preaident, so help me God", the rival president said, swearing in to the cheers of thousands.

It would be recalled that Odinga had declared that he will not recognize a win by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the controversial repeat poll that was held past year in October 26, which Odinga boycotted.

The East African country's Supreme Court annulled August's presidential election result saying the electoral commission committed "irregularities and illegalities" during the vote, harming the integrity of the election.

Linus Kaikai, chairman of Kenya's editors guild, accused Kenyatta of undermining the independence of news media during a meeting at the State House in Nairobi last week.

Odinga refused to be drawn on his plans for after his symbolic inauguration, repeatedly telling the interviewer, "Hold your horses" and "We'll see".

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Kenyans had expected the stations would be back on air Tuesday evening after Odinga's event, but over 24 hours later, none of the channels has been reinstated.

"We have accomplished our promise to Kenyans", said Odinga, 73, who was not accompanied by his three fellow leaders of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition.

Matiangi said Odinga's swearing-in itself was also under investigation and that "appropriate legal action" would be taken.

While government and police had initially vowed to block the inauguration, officers kept their distance on the day. Odinga took his oath to the deafening cheers of supporters before speaking briefly and swiftly departing.

International Crisis Group's senior analyst, Murithi Mutiga said that this is "a lose-lose situation for both Kenyatta and Odinga and it was an entirely preventable crisis".

After their signals were cut off at 9:10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, private broadcasters NTV, KTN and Citizen TV continued coverage of the event online, on social media and on YouTube.

Almost 100 people were killed over the prolonged election period, mostly in clashes between Odinga supporters and the police.

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