Kenyans in diaspora divided on the planned swearing in of Kenya's opposition chief
The planned ceremony has the capital city of one of East Africa’s most powerful economies tensed
Odinga, the leader of Kenya’s opposition NASA coalition has insisted he won Kenya’s annulled election held in August of 2017 and is thereby the legitimate president of the country, a claim that has led to his plan to be sworn in as a “people’s president”.
The planned ceremony has the capital city of one of East Africa’s most powerful economies tensed with the city’s police also stating they will resist any attempt by Odinga and his supporters to carry out the swearing in ceremony at the city’s Uhuru Park.
Speaking to US based newspaper ,the Los Angeles Times, Kenyans living in the United States expressed different opinions on the situation.
Kenyan Diaspora, an online organization that connects Kenyan expatriates around the world said
"We would like to put the Uhuru government on notice that although we are a nonviolent movement … if its security forces resort to the usual murdering and maiming of unarmed Kenyans who are lawfully and peacefully exercising their rights … we as Kenyan Diaspora will be left with no option but to arm our compatriots at home to exercise their right to self-defense in accordance with established principles of law," the group said in a statement.
"People are afraid," said Debra Akello, a Kenyan expatriate who has lived in the U.S. for more than two decades. "They are worried about violence."
Akello, who recently visited the country, said many people were stocking up on food and other supplies ahead of the swearing-in day, while others were rushing to buy bus and plane tickets to flee Nairobi.
"It's getting ugly," Akello said. " I'm so afraid for my country."
With time running out and all diplomatic channels to have dialogue between the two parties almost closed , Salim Lone, an advisor to Mr.Odinga says the swearing in is a process that is essential.
"It's a combination of a symbolic gesture which calls into question the legitimacy of the de facto government, while at the same time provides alternative leadership both for the presidency and for the parliament," said Salim Lone, a longtime advisor to Odinga. "It's a very crucial moment."
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