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How global media covered Raila ‘swearing in’

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The eyes of the world were on Tuesday focused on Kenya as the National Super Alliance (NASA) embarked on a journey to show defiance to the Jubilee administration with its leader Raila Odinga taking an “oath” that has left many questioning his next political move.

Mr Odinga immediately after ‘swearing-in’ as the “People’s President” had his online presence under scrutiny as his team moved to update his bio to bear the title of President of the Republic of Kenya.

International media outlets extensively covered the mock inauguration and took varied stances.

CNN had the story well covered with its over photo showing Mr Odinga’s supporters making way to the event’s venue while on top of a matatu as some carried stones and rungus.

The CNN termed the event as a mock inauguration of Odinga who had pulled out of the controversial October 26 fresh presidential election that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta register a 98% vote victory.

CNN reportage indicated that NASA was keen on having a parallel government in place to oppose that of President Kenyatta who has set unity as a key agenda for the nation clear for his second term in office. The network made a repressed mention of how police teargased groups making sure they left the city centre as soon as the event ended.

Reuters also reported the act as symbolic but in their estimate the supporters who turned up for the occasion were at least 15,000 even though local media coverage had put the numbers to their hundreds of thousands. They pointed to a likely division in the alliance due to the fact that Odinga’s counterparts had skipped the event.

The news agency also quoted Murithi Mutiga, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, saying the situation Kenya finds herself in was avoidable.

“This is a lose-lose situation for both Kenyatta and Odinga and it was an entirely preventable crisis. It’s not clear where Odinga goes next from here,” said Mutiga, adding: “Kenyatta as well – by resisting all attempts at dialogue, he has put himself in a position where he will continue to struggle to be seen as the president of all Kenyans.”

According to Bloomberg, Mr Odinga had declared himself president, dodging the Constitution.

“Kenyan Opposition Leader Declares Himself President, Skirting Constitution,” was the headline the story carried.

The coverage indicated that Mr Odinga swore himself in as so called-people’s president giving a rare look into the financial markets given the sharp change of atmosphere as the nation appeared recovering from the protracted electioneering period.

“The swearing-in had little impact on Kenya’s financial markets. The shilling was steady at 102.35 per dollar by 5:41 pm in Nairobi, while an index of the country’s top 25 stocks was little changed,” reports Bloomberg

The reporters carried Third Way Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot’s views on the “oath” on KTN News to the effect that a lot of attention had been driven to the event that he said had no legal underpinning.

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Bloomberg carried NASA spokeswoman Kathleen Openda’s indication to Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, who alongside co-principal Moses Wetang’ula did not show up at Uhuru Park, had quit NASA coalition. Ms Openda reportedly told Bloomberg that the principals had “walked out” of the alliance.

The three later issued a statement rededicating their commitment to NASA and its pursuit of its reform agenda, including electoral justice.

“We agreed to meet again this morning. However, due to circumstances beyond our comprehension and control, the four of us did not assemble as planned. Nonetheless, the NASA Summit (Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, H. E. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi and Hon. Moses Wetang’ula) remains strong and united. The Summit will meet within two days, to address the immense challenges facing this country,” the statement read.

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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