Uhuru reveals why he allowed Raila’s mock swearing-in to proceed uninterrupted
Raila Odinga on January 30, 2018, took an oath declaring himself the 'people's President' before a packed crowd at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
The government described the ceremony as treason but did not dispatch police to disperse thousands of Raila's supporters who gathered at Uhuru Park to witness the swearing-in.
Authorities opted for a media blackout of Raila's mock swearing-in rather than deploy police to stop or disperse the meeting.
Television and newspaper executives said they had been warned they would be closed down if they covered Raila's event during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and other senior officials on January 29 - a day before the swearing-in.
Why Uhuru allowed Raila's swearing-in to proceed uninterrupted
Speaking during a meeting with the clergy at State House on Friday, July 8, 2022, President Kenyatta said that some people wanted him to send soldiers to stop Raila's mock swearing-in at Uhuru Park.
The head of state told the religious leaders that he stood his ground and refused to bow to the pressure to deploy the military to stop Raila from taking oath as the people's President.
"When things were bad and some people went to swear themselves in, there are those who wanted me to send my soldiers but I stood firm and said no," Uhuru said.
The President explained that his intention was to ensure peace prevailed, noting that he avoided bloodshed that would have happened if soldiers were sent after Raila's supporters.
"I let them be and there was peace. I still reached out to them so we could talk. There was a lot of opposition to the talks by the chest-thumping team and even after I pleaded with them, they made it their job to always attack me," Uhuru said.
The revelation by Uhuru comes just days after William Ruto in leaked audio said that he nearly slapped the President after a disagreement over the Supreme Court ruling on the presidential petition.
Apparently, this was after Uhuru suggested that he was not keen on taking part in the repeat poll ordered by a seven-judge bench led by retired Chief Justice David Maraga.
In the audio that went viral, Ruto was heard saying he pushed Uhuru to participate in the repeat presidential polls after losing a petition at the Supreme Court in 2017.