NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7 – Attorney General Githu Muigai says any attempts to swear-in Opposition leader Raila Odinga as president, outside the confines of the constitution, qualify as high treason.
Muigai says it would be treasonable offence to swear-in Odinga as president without him having been declared winner of an election by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and absent the presence of the Chief Justice.
High treason, he made clear in a press briefing on Thursday, attracts the death penalty.
“The criminal law of the Republic of Kenya, in Article 40 of the penal code provides or stipulates that that sort of process, is high treason,” he pronounced.
Muigai also qualified as illegitimate, the formation of People’s Assemblies by various County Assemblies which he said do not possess such powers.
They too, he said, were subject to legal action for using public funds for unintended purposes and for acting in contempt of court.
“Indeed, the High Court of Kenya at Kitui has already pronounced itself on this question,” Muigai said.
Earlier on Thursday, Opposition leader Odinga was unrelenting that he would be sworn-in as president on Jamhuri Day despite the United States warning that such a move would be in contravention of the law.
“The United States also urges opposition leaders to work within Kenya’s laws to pursue the reforms they seek and to avoid extra-constitutional actions such as the proposed “inauguration ceremony” on December 12,” a statement from the Embassy reads.
Odinga however accused the Western power of overstepping, querying why they had not been as vocal on police excesses against its supporters.
“Nobody is talking about that yet they have the impudence and audacity to come and advise us, forget and move on? Don’t come and shout at us and tell us that we’re going to violate the constitution. Which constitution? My foot,” he said before going on to state that he does not recognise the November 28 swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta; faulting the process through which he was elected on October 26.