Thousands 'swear in' Kenya opposition leader

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The U.S. has advised Odinga against the so-called inauguration Tuesday, as East Africa's economic hub tries to move beyond months of deadly election turmoil.

Riots after the August election produced a number of deaths.

At least 90 people, mostly opposition supporters, have been shot dead by the police, according the government's rights watchdog, in election-related violence since August.

Thousands of members of Kenya's opposition party gathered in downtown Nairobi on Tuesday to protest the results of last year's election, launching what they called a parallel government.

"As an external observer and also a player in the political and security space of East Africa, especially Kenya, I find it quite troubling that the flag-bearer of the opposition NASA party Mr Raila Odinga would have himself sworn in as President even though he withdrew from the election that saw his main contender President Uhuru Kenyatta emerge victor".

Mr Kenyatta's initial victory was overturned by the Supreme Court, citing "irregularities and illegalities".

The Odinga inaugural event was not staged as satire or mockery.

Hours later though, Mr Odinga had a change of mind and edited it to read "The People's President of Kenya".

Odinga told reporters his inauguration represented the fulfillment of a "promise to Kenyans".

It must have been something of an anti-climax for thousands of supporters of Nasa leader Raila Odinga who had waited for the better part of the day to see him make good his vow to take oath as the "people's president".

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Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA) raises his fist before taking a symbolic presidential oath of office in Nairobi, Kenya January 30, 2018.

That was why police had withdrawn from the venue, he said.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has been sworn in during a mock "inauguration" as "the people's president" despite the government's warning that the event would be considered treason.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) in a statement called for "credible and expeditious investigations into any form of illegal switch off".

However as the wording of the oath was different to that in the constitution, the consequences of Odinga's act of political theatre were unclear.

Wetangula says the government should ensure leaders are safe insisting that it should be held responsible if anything happens to them.

"The persons involved in their creation are involved in extra-constitutional activity and may be visited by the full force of the law", he warned.

"We have just learned today that on Friday last week, a section of media managers and select editors from the main media houses were quietly summoned to a meeting at the State House, Nairobi, the objectives which were unknown".

A political heavyweight, he has run for president four times.

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