'Doomsday' man baptises Kenya PM

Nairobi, Kenya - Born-again Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been baptised by a self-proclaimed prophet known for his doomsday warnings.

He was immersed in a swimming pool in Nairobi by David Owuor, of the National Repentance and Holiness Ministry.

The minister once foretold that half of Nairobi would be destroyed in an earthquake, which never happened.

Mr Owuor told the BBC that Mr Odinga's unity government rival, President Mwai Kibaki, had agreed to be baptised next.

Mr Odinga announced he had been born again on stage alongside Mr Owuor during a mass prayer meeting in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru last month.

On Sunday, a handful of journalists and evangelical Christians were invited to attend the prime minister's baptism ceremony at a private residence in the capital.

Mr Odinga said afterwards: "The Lord works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform and I'm very happy that the man of God has received me and has blessed me."

Mr Owuor told the BBC that although the prime minister had already been baptised as an Anglican Christian, it was better to be fully immersed during the ceremony in the same way as was Jesus.

He added: "The next step is [Mr Odinga is] going to meet the president to discuss with him the date and they're going to call me into this meeting and the president will receive the Lord, will be baptised.

"Today is a major step, a major advancement towards peace in this country because Kenya is on the way out of the woods."

The BBC's Wanyama wa Chebusiri in Nairobi says many people are wondering if Mr Odinga's baptism could breathe a new, perhaps divine, life into the fractious coalition government.

It was formed in February to end post-election violence - that left some 1,500 people dead - which Mr Owuor also claims to have foretold.

However, the unity administration has become increasingly frayed of late amid claims by Mr Odinga that he is being sidelined by President Kibaki.