Teargas, chaos as Kenyatta to be sworn in for disputed second term

Teargas, chaos as Kenyatta to be sworn in for disputed second term

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Kenyan army soldiers have rehearsed the inauguration ceremony ahead of Uhuru Kenyatta being sworn in for a second term.

Kenyan police fired teargas and clashed with both ruling party and opposition supporters. Tuesday   ahead of the swearing in as president of Kenya.

Uhuru Kenyatta after two disputed polls that have left the nation deeply divided.

As foreign and local dignitaries poured into the 60,000-seat Kasarani stadium in Nairobi.

Where the ceremony is to be held, the opposition attempted to gather for a “memorial rally” honoring the more than 50 people killed, mostly by police, in four months of political upheaval.

However police fired volleys of teargas and beat opposition supporters, prompting running battles in the area.

Meanwhile at the Kasarani stadium chaos erupted as a crowd attempted to force its way into the venue, prompting police to fire teargas at Kenyatta supporters who tried to fight their way in.

“I just want to see President Uhuru Kenyatta because I voted for him, why are  we being beaten like NASA (opposition),” said Janet Wambua, who was among the angry crowd.

Joseph Irungu of the interior ministry planning committee had said there was space for 40,000 people who did not get in to watch the event on big screens outside the stadium. However no such screens were provided, further angering the crowd.

Around 13 mostly African heads of state are expected to attend the ceremony where Kenyatta, 56, will be sworn in for his second and final five-year term.

These include the presidents of South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Somalia — among others — while prime ministers, foreign ministers and special envoys will represent other African nations, as well as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and Serbia.

In areas loyal to Odinga, an ethnic Luo, there is a sense of having been ground down and discriminated against since independence, not least by Kenyatta’s Kikuyu group, which has given Kenya three of its four presidents.

The months of disruption and unrest, plus the holding of two separate elections, have badly affected the economy, hitting the poorest hardest while leaving the wealthy political elites relatively unharmed.

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