Less than an hour after he was declared the winner of this year’s general election, President Mwai Kibaki was hurriedly sworn in at State House Nairobi. The Chief Justice and the Attorney General were present to conduct the ceremony.
The hurried manner in which the swearing in was done makes the whole process suspicious. The president ought to have taken time to calm down tensions and engage the opposition in dialogue and then honor Kenyans for re-electing him by granting them a proper state ceremony.
The sneak swearing in therefore only serves to confirm the president’s and his handlers’ fear that they do not have the mandate to govern. This is indeed a sad day for Kenya. It is yet again a case of an African country failing to hold free and fair elections. The stories of “tribal clashes” in Kenya being aired by the CNNs and Reuters of this world are just a reminder of how stuck in the past Africa still is. This is a big blow to Africa’s self esteem – when open rigging is witnessed and condoned in one its most fledgling democracies.
I hope Kenyans will not use violent means to express their discontent. I hope that the president will move quickly to reconcile the country. I hope that the opposition will act responsibly and desist from making any inflammatory remarks. I hope sanity will prevail.