Tshisekedi in Kenya for talks with President Kenyatta


Tshisekedi in Kenya for talks with President Kenyatta
DRC President Tshisekedi arrives at Kenya's JKIA

In Summary

  • The pageantry of the ceremony was briefly interrupted when Tshisekedi was taken ill during his inaugural address and had to sit down.
  • But he returned to the podium moments after a brief pause, saying he was exhausted by the election and the emotion of the moment.
  • His spokesman later told Reuters that his bulletproof vest had been too tight.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has arrived in Kenya for bilateral talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

His visit comes 14 days after he was sworn in as President.

The opposition leader turned Head of State called for national reconciliation after succeeding Joseph Kabila.

This was DRC’s first transfer of power via an election in 59 years of independence.

However, in a sign of lingering doubts about the vote’s credibility, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta was the only foreign head of state present.

Still, the imagery of one leader handing off the presidency to another as Kabila wrapped the presidential sash around his successor was striking in a country where previous power transfers have resulted only from coups, assassination or rebellion.

President Kenyatta was accompanied by Raila Odinga (AU special envoy), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper Party leader), Moses Cheboi (National Assembly Deputy Speaker) and  Irungu Kangata (Murang’a Senator).

Others were Junet Mohamed (Suna East MP), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay MP), Amos Wako (Busia Senator), Ledama Olekina (Narok Senator) and Mr Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango.

The pageantry of the ceremony was briefly interrupted when Tshisekedi was taken ill during his inaugural address and had to sit down.

But he returned to the podium moments after a brief pause, saying he was exhausted by the election and the emotion of the moment.

His spokesman later told Reuters that his bulletproof vest had been too tight.

Tshisekedi’s victory in the Dec. 30 election was marred by accusations he struck a backroom deal with the outgoing president to deny victory to another opposition candidate. Kabila and Tshisekedi’s camps reject those allegations.

His spokesman later told Reuters that his bulletproof vest had been too tight.

Tshisekedi, wearing a blue suit and dark glasses, took the oath of office before his supporters, government officials and foreign ambassadors.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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