Apr. 2 (GIN) – Streets will be swept and bunting will be hung this week in the run-up to the public swearing-in ceremony of Kenya’s newly elected president, Uhuru Kenyatta, scheduled to take place at the 60,000 seat Moi International Sports Center, April 9.
By law, the event must take place in broad daylight, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“We are now focusing on the day which will be historic in many ways. The whole of this week will be for preparation of the swearing in ceremony,” said Francis Kimemia, head of Civil Service.
Uhuru, who defeated Prime Minister Raila Odinga in a close race, takes the reins of power as Kenya’s fourth President.
Raila, in a BBC interview after conceding defeat and wishing Uhuru and his team well, said his coalition would fight on for democracy, “through other venues” which he did not specify.
The March 4 race, he said, was “predetermined and manipulated by a few technocrats,” but “in the fight for democracy, election is just an event.”
Odinga said he conceded defeat as a personal sacrifice to avoid the bloodshed of 2007-2008, stirred by disputed presidential elections results between himself and outgoing President Mwai Kibaki.
On Sunday, when asked how he would restrain millions of his supporters who feel cheated, Raila said: “I am going to tell my people to look at peaceful ways of solving disputes. There are many ways to pursue the cause of democratization. I want to avoid the bloodshed that we experienced.”
Although evidence of technology failure and other glitches were documented to the Supreme Court, the election exercise was ruled to be predominantly free and fair.
Meanwhile, the NY-based Committee to Protect Journalists is demanding justice for investigative journalist Bernard Wesongo, whose bruised lifeless body was found Sunday at his home in Mombasa. Wesonga had told friends of anonymous threats sent to him via text message after he wrote about the shipment and sale of 300,000 bags of expired fertilizer dated 2011 that had been re-marked Afriventure and printed with a new expiration date of 2016.
Farmers have already started planting maize in some areas in the Rift Valley region and more than half have incurred heavier costs buying the product at twice what they were expecting to pay at a govt subsidized rate.