NAIROBI — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term yesterday, shortly before riot police teargassed the convoy of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who promised supporters he would be sworn in himself on December 12.
Such a move would only deepen divisions opened by the extended election season in Kenya, a Western ally in a volatile region. Months of acrimonious campaigns and sporadic clashes have already blunted growth in East Africa’s richest economy.
At a lavish inauguration attended by the heads of many African nations, Kenyatta did his best to paint a picture of a country moving beyond that divide.
“The elections are now firmly behind us … I will devote my time and energy to build bridges,” he told a rapturous crowd as he was sworn in for a second, five-year term in a sports stadium in the capital of Nairobi.
But, he warned, Kenyans needed to “free ourselves from the baggage of past grievances, and … keep to the rule of law”.