The opposition coalition, NASA has threatened to stage a simultaneous swearing in of its presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
This declaration is not only ill-informed but also quite disturbing. The first question that pops up is under what law can any person other than the one duly elected as president be allowed to take oath of office? This is a classic case of lawlessness and anarchy that should not be allowed to stand.
It seems opposition leaders, in their quest for power have been misled to believing that they can create a separate centre of power from that constitutionally created by the Republic of Kenya.
How exactly do they plan to execute this? A well functional government must have certain institutions that it commands, including the military, Parliament and the Judiciary.
In Parliament, the opposition has no numbers and cannot control what goes on in there.
We all know Kenya’s military is professional and apolitical and cannot allow to be misused. A military must have a commander-in-chief who is a duly elected president and anything short of that is a rebel movement.
Judiciary has proved that it cannot be used by politicians for their selfish gains and I don’t believe any judge can take their time to swear in an ordinary citizen not elected by anyone as president.
NASA has been quoting Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitution in driving their resistance movement agenda. Yes, Article 1 of the Constitution states that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya, but it also states that power shall only be exercised in accordance with the Constitution. The 2010 Constitution does not say anywhere that anyone can be sworn in as president after they fail to win elections four times.
Article 3, which NASA has been conveniently forgetting, is clear on how this power is delegated. It states, “Sovereign power under this Constitution is delegated to the following State organs, which shall perform their functions in accordance with this Constitution.” Then it names the organs as Parliament and county assemblies; the national and county executives; and the Judiciary and independent tribunals.
So, the only way NASA can exercise power is by using the few MPs they have in both the National Assembly and the Senate. Raila must start to learn the art of negotiation so that if he wants any resolution passed in Parliament, then he has to persuade the majority side to back him up.
Let us now move to Article 140 of the Constitution, which details under what circumstance a president-elect can fail to be sworn in. Article 140(1) expressly states that a person may file a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the election of the president-elect and 140(3) says if the Supreme Court determines that election to be invalid then a fresh poll is done within 60 days.
Why can’t NASA go to court again as they did after August 8 elections if they believe President Kenyatta was not validly elected? They have realized that the Supreme Court will most likely dismiss such a petition this time because there are no grounds for nullifying this election. Hence, they have now resorted to confusing the country by declaring that they can create a separate government.
This so-called swearing in would be a coup attempt and all opposition leaders who try to do it must be arrested and prosecuted. This is not a banana republic where anyone does what they want regardless of what the law says. We have well established laws, institutions and mechanisms of dealing with our grievances.
Naisula Lesuuda is the MP for Samburu West
The views expressed in this article are her own and don’t necessarily reflect KBC’s opinion.