- They later held a fundraising in aid of the funeral expenses for those killed.
- Nasa has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the Jubilee government.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will on Tuesday begin his second and final term in which he is expected to grapple with a tottering economy and a fractious nation as he fights to secure his legacy.
The President is regaining the levers of State at a time when the country is sharply divided and the economy is experiencing a meltdown unseen since 2007.
The 56-year-old leader will take the oaths of allegiance and that of due execution of his office at a time when a sizeable part of the country is disgruntled with his administration.
At least 12 of the 47 county assemblies in opposition strongholds have passed a motion denouncing President Kenyatta’s re-election and his presidency – and have demanded a fresh election under a new electoral commission.
Seven other county assemblies were lined up to pass similar motions when a Kitui court restrained them from passing or implementing the formation of the people’s assemblies.
The opposition, led by his main challenger Raila Odinga, has called for a rally at Nairobi’s Jacaranda Grounds on Tuesday hoping to showcase the divisions in the country on the day Mr Kenyatta will be sworn in.
“That Kenya is divided right now is not in doubt. It is all about exclusion. We need to begin here and say that anybody who constitutes this nation feels included,” University of Nairobi’s Prof Winnie Mitullah told the Saturday Nation of the current state of the country, and what faces President Kenyatta in his second term.
“Now, people are so frustrated and feel so excluded, they are talking about secession,” Prof Mitullah said.
Mr Odinga withdrew from the October 26 poll protesting lack of electoral reforms after successfully challenging President Kenyatta’s August 8 win and has since called on the 19 National Super Alliance (Nasa)-leaning county assemblies to pass a motion to allow Kenyans to exercise their sovereign power.
This process, according to the plan, will culminate in a convention in Nairobi that will propose changes to the constitution on change of structure of the executive and a new electoral system.
Prof James ole Kiyiapi, who ran for president in 2013, argued that the divisions currently being seen were a sign of deep fissures that started in 2007 when 1,133 Kenyans died, and 650,000 others were displaced from their homes in the post-election violence and which had been swept under the carpet under the ‘let’s move on’ mantra in 2013.
“Elections are important for people – they invest in them, not just with money, but also emotionally and spiritually – they are the aspirations of the people. Now, what is needed is a higher level of magnanimity on the part of Uhuru Kenyatta. He needs to call Raila Odinga and say: Wait a minute, we can fight this thing forever, but it is not going to help us,” Prof Kiyiapi said in a TV interview.
The university don warned that if ignored, the problem will one day blow up “and none of us will be able to address it”.