Kenya Chief Justice warns judges, magistrates against swearing-in Odinga, cites treason

Nelson Bwire Kapo

Kenya’s Chief Justice and President of the supreme court, David K. Maraga has issued warning to Opposition leader Raila Odinga to abandon swearing himself in.

Odinga is determined to take oath with his run mate Kalonzo Mushyoka as the people’s president and vice president respectively at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Tuesday.

However, Maraga in a statement dated January 25, says the act would amount to treason and the parties should desist from it.

“As per the Supreme Court ruling on the 20th November 2017 Uhuru Kenyatta is the validly elected President of the Republic of Kenya and the Commander In Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces. He was legitimately sworn in on the 28th of November in the public in the presence of the Chief Justice as per articles 140 and 141 of the constitution of Kenya 2010,” the statement reads in part.

“As such, any other event advertised as having been planned for the same will be illegal and an attempt to unseat a legitimate government which would amount to treason. Therefore, all judges and Magistrates are hereby cautioned not to engage in any such events or activities,” the statement continues.

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Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is planning to have himself sworn in as an alternative president on Tuesday, seen as a final push to challenge Uhuru Kenyatta’s election.

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Odinga challenged the result of the original August vote winning an unprecedented annulment, but then boycotted the court-ordered re-run in October handing victory to Kenyatta who won 98 percent of the vote but with a turnout of just 39 percent.

On Tuesday the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) which continues to claim fraud and wants another election to be held, intends to stage its own “swearing-in” ceremony in the capital Nairobi, hoping to pressure the government for talks.

The ceremony — if it goes ahead — will put the opposition on a collision course with police and the government, with attorney general Githu Muigai warning in December that any “swearing-in” would be treasonous raising the possibility of Odinga’s arrest, a move that would heighten tensions.





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