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I don’t Want to be Like Besigye, Says Raila Odinga

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Kenya’s opposition kingpin has said he does not want his parallel government to be like that Uganda’s Dr Kizza Besigye.

Odinga said he preferred the model of Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa inauguration rather than Besigye.

Odinga made the remarks while addressing his supporters at Jacaranda grounds in Embakasi, Nairobi, minutes before police dispersed his prayer rally.

Raila Odinga, the National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader, made the announcement on the day Kenyatta was inaugurated as president.

Regional leaders graced Kenyatta’s inauguration. The leaders listened to Kenyatta’s inauguration speech and also gave messages of friendship.


“I am not a coward, I will be sworn as president on Jamhuri Day [December 12], I am the legitimate president,” Odinga told his supporters.

“Uhuru Kenyatta is not the President of Kenya… “They have sworn-in Uhuru as President. We will also have a swearing-in.”

He then made it clear he would not be sworn in like Besigye did after last year’s presidential poll.

“We will not be sworn-in like  [Ugandan Opposition leader Kizza] Besigye. We will be sworn-in like it was done with [Emmerson] Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe,” he said.


Whereas Besigye’s swearing was somewhat done in a secluded place, Mnangagwa swear in in the open and succeeded 93-year old Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa had the support of the armed forces and the ruling ZANU-PF party. After taking over in a bloodless coup, the army and ZANU-PF replaced Mugabe with Mnangagwa.

Mugabe had sacked Mnangagwa days a few weeks earlier.

After Mugabe’s forced resignation, Mnangagwa took oath as the nonagenarian’s successor.

Back to Kampala in 2016, Museveni put Besigye under house arrest hours after the close of the polls.

Besigye did not even have a chance to contest the poll results.


But like Besigye in 2016, Odinga could face a similar situation. The Kenyan situation is a bit similar to Uganda’s. Zimbabwe’s coup is different from the woes of Uganda and Kenya.

And Raila’s Tuesday event in Nairobi points to Besigye-like dilemma that awaits him.

Just when Odinga’s rally was ongoing, police dispersed it.

How he will withstand the wrath of Kenyatta’s armed forces on December 12 remains a puzzle Nasa strategists have to work out.


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