Kenyan opposition politician charged with treason over Raila Odinga’s ‘swearing in’

Mildred Europa Taylor February 06, 2018
Miguna (Left) at the "swearing-in" ceremony of Raila Odinga

Miguna Miguna, a Kenyan opposition leader who was arrested last Friday for his presence at the “swearing-in” ceremony of opposition leader Raila Odinga has been charged with treason.

He was charged with “being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to commit a capital offence, namely treason”, says the charge sheet quoted by Reuters.

The charges presented by the police to a court in Kajiado County against Miguna included taking part in an unlawful assembly and engaging in an organized criminal activity.

Miguna was detained in a dawn raid on his Nairobi home on Friday after that of another opposition leader a day earlier.

He was released on a $500 bail but has remained in police custody with his whereabouts unknown.

“Once again the state is willfully violating Mr Miguna’s rights by moving him without any notice to his lawyers or his family and, in order to frustrate their access to him, to a court stationed outside Nairobi,” Isaac Okero, president of the Law Society of Kenya, told reporters.

Raila Odinga was sworn in by the Kenyan opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) party last week as “people’s president” in the capital Nairobi.

Odinga took an oath of office administered by NASA MP T.J. Kajwang in the presence of thousands of supporters and party officials who thronged the Uhuru Park in the capital Nairobi.

“I Raila Amolo Odinga, in full realisation of the high calling, assume the office of the People’s President of the Republic of Kenya,” he said in the brief ceremony that has been described as treasonous by the government as it violates the constitution.

Hours before the event, the Kenyan communication authority cut signals of several television and radio channels including Citizen media, NTV and KTN who planned on covering the swearing-in.

Odinga, who has on several occasions described the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta as illegitimate, told the media before leaving the venue that “we have accomplished our promise to Kenyans.”

The party said the swearing-in is based on the annulled results of the August 8 presidential election, which they believe they won, but claim it was rigged to favour President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The government and international bodies had warned NASA against the planned inauguration since last year and the organisation of a “People’s Assembly” backed by 12 Kenyan counties.

Kenya’s Attorney General Githu Muigai had cautioned Odinga that he will be charged with treason if he is sworn in.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: June 19, 2018


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