Thu, Feb 01, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Kenyan ex-VP’s home attacked

ASSASSINATION?The alleged attempt comes after opposition leader Raila Odinga held a mock inauguration at which the former VP was to become ‘deputy president’


Supporters of the Kenyan opposition National Super Alliance and its leader, Raila Odinga, on Tuesday attend Odinga’s “swearing-in” ceremony in Nairobi.

Photo: EPA

Former Kenyan vice president Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday said gunshots were fired at his home and a grenade detonated at 1am in what he described as “an assassination attempt.”

Musyoka told reporters by telephone that the attack occurred hours after his police security was withdrawn, adding that he had on Tuesday been blocked from attending a mock inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga in protest of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s new term after months of deadly election turmoil.

Musyoka was to take the oath as Odinga’s deputy president in the mock inauguration.

“The motive was clearly political,” he said.

He said after his police security was withdrawn he felt vulnerable and hired a private security firm.

“I knew we were vulnerable, but I didn’t think they would strike that fast,” he said.

He said the private security firm vehicle parked in front of his gate might have dissuaded the attackers from getting in the house. No one was hurt.

The government on Tuesday cut live transmission of the nation’s top three television channels as a huge crowd of tens of thousands gathered in a Nairobi park for the mock inauguration.

Kenyatta had “expressly threatened to shut down and revoke the licenses of any media house” that aired live broadcasts, the Kenya Editors Guild said in a statement.

The 73-year-old Odinga took an oath holding a Bible over his head, amid cheers.

The opposition leader called the ceremony a step toward establishing a functioning democracy in Kenya.

“We are seeing the return of an authoritarian, imperial presidency in our country and rule by fiat, and this must be resisted,” he told the Kenya Television Network ahead of the ceremony.

Afterward, he updated his Twitter profile to call himself “President of the Republic of Kenya.”

Hours later, the government outlawed the opposition’s National Resistance Movement, with Kenyan Minister of the Interior Fred Matiangi declaring it an organized criminal group. Membership in such a group can lead to imprisonment up to 10 years.

The mock ceremony came after months of political uncertainty.

Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the election held in August last year after Odinga claimed that hackers infiltrated the electoral commission’s computer system and changed results in favor of Kenyatta.

The court ordered a fresh election in October that Kenyatta won and Odinga boycotted, claiming a lack of electoral reforms.

The opposition last week released what it called “authentic” election results showing Odinga won the August vote, but it refused to say how it obtained the information from the electoral commission’s computer servers. The electoral commission called those results “fake.”

Police at first had vowed to block opposition supporters from attending Tuesday’s ceremony, leading to fears of violence.

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