Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Kalonzo,Wetangula and Raila in South Africa ahead of Uhuru’s big day

NAIROBI, KENYA: Top leaders of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) will not attend president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.

This is after Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula joined Prime Minister Raila Odinga to fly out of the country on Saturday night.

The Cord principals who all left aboard the same flight to South Africa with their families are expected back in the country on Wednesday, a day after Uhuru’s coronation.

Mwingi central MP Joe Mutambo confirmed that the leaders had gone for four day retreat and will be returning to the country mid-week.

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“Our leaders went down south and are expected back on Wednesday,” Mutambo said terming the trip as a strategic and bonding retreat.

Sources say Raila and Kalonzo had been prevailed by Cord MPs to skip the swearing in ceremony after disputing the election of Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto in spite of being invited.

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Three principals then bought the idea saying attending Uhuru’s inauguration will be tantamount to endorsing a regime, whose ascend to power they disputed.

“If you are competing with another man for a woman, and that man snatches her, will you attend their wedding?” an MP close to Raila said.

The MP said that even if Raila and Kalonzo were to be in the country, they could have not attended the high profile event at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani that will be graced by a host of presidents mainly drawn from Africa.

Cord MPs also expressed fears on Thursday that supporters of Uhuru and Ruto may be tempted to embarrass Raila, Kalonzo just like it happened in 2002, when President Kibaki took the reins of power from President Moi at Uhuru Park.

On Tuesday 9, security will be a priority at the inauguration of the country’s 4th president at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi, official said on Sunday.

Officials organising the event say other than Kasarani, major hotels, the airport and other installations will be under heavy security.

Up to 2,000 police officers have been mobilised to specifically work on the day Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto will be sworn in at the 60,000-seater stadium.

Head of Nairobi Area police command Mr Benson Kibue said on Sunday that there will be intensified patrols in the city centre and estates on the material day.

“We are watching over various intelligence on some planned criminal activities hence the heavy security that you will see. We will ensure security is a priority at the event and Nairobi at large,” he said.

Police choppers will be on standby and patrol in the city. At the stadium alone, General Service Unit personnel will ring it. There will be other officers who will be screening those getting into the stadium and for those who will not manage; there will be a huge screen where they will watch the event live, officials said.

Contingents of police will be at the airport to welcome and escort invited guests. South Sudan’s president Salva Kir is the only leader who had arrived by last evening but more were expected at which all of Africa 52 heads of state have been welcomes to attend.

All East African heads of state are expected at the ceremony, officials confirmed.

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